\ STUDIA IN
MRS. WILLIE HARDING (D.H.) McGAVOCK
Sara Estelle Haskin
Educational Secretary , Woman's Missionary
Council, M. E. Church, South
Dallas, Tex.; Richmond, Va.
Publishing House of the M. E. Church, South
Smith & Lamar, Agents
SAKA ESTELLE HASKIN
The Missionaries and Deaconesses who have stood in the
front of the battle line this book is lovingly
and gratefully dedicated
IN the following pages the author has set
forth merely the outstanding facts in the his
tory of the organized woman's missionary
work in the Methodist Episcopal Church,
South. The great underlying purpose, how
ever, has been to state these facts in such a
way that they themselves will tell the story of
God's marvelous leading through the years.
The vision of service came first to a small
group of women without means, without ex
perience, and with no authorized channel
through which to work; but in less than fifty
years their prayers and their small efforts had
resulted in the enlistment of over two hundred
thousand women and children in the auxiliaries
of the Woman's Missionary Society. The ap
peal of one small school in China and the cry
of distress sent out in behalf of the poorly
paid preachers on the frontier resulted in an
organization which in 1920 was conducting
well-equipped schools and social-evangelistic
centers in the homeland and in seven foreign
6 WOMEN AND MISSIONS.
The work in the homeland and that in the
foreign fields began through separate organ
izations, but as the years passed the vision
broadened until the world became one great
mission field for which every auxiliary member
was personally responsible. The result was
the merging of the two societies and a united
effort in prayer and giving.
It is the earnest hope of the author that this
story may fill the heart of every woman who
reads it with gratitude to God for the great
pioneer women who have made it possible for
us of the present day to enter into our won
derful heritage of world-wide service.
The story of the work as told in these pages
has been gathered from the following sources :
The Annual Reports of the Woman's Foreign
Missionary Society ; the Annual Reports of the
Woman's Home Mission Society; the Annual
Reports of the Woman's Missionary Council ;
the "History of the Woman's Foreign Mis
sionary Society," by Mrs. F. A. Butler; the
"Life of Miss Lucinda B. Helm," by Mrs.
Gross Alexander; and "A Decade of Mission
Life," by Miss Nannie E. Holding; also
pamphlets entitled "The Story of the Years,"
bv Mrs. R. W. MacDonell, Mrs. F. H. E. Ross,
Mrs. J. B. Cobb, Miss Maria Layng Gibson,
and Miss Maude Bonnell. From these last,
entire sections have been occasionally em
Grateful acknowledgment is hereby made to
my friends Miss Belle H. Bennett, Miss
Maria Layng Gibson, and Mrs. R. W. Mac-
Donell, who, from the knowledge gained by
their years of experience, have rendered most
valuable assistance. Thanks are also due to
those of my associate workers who have read
the manuscript and rendered helpful and sym
pathetic criticism. S. E. H.
ORGANIZATION OF THE HOME BASE. PAGE.
I. Banding together for Service 13
MINISTRY IN THE FIELDS OF THE ORIENT.
II. The First Mission Fields 43
V-III. Lighting the Torch in Korea 75
IV. Another Call 95
MINISTRY IN LATIN-AMERICAN AND AFRICAN
V. Another Challenge to Faith 109
VI. Answering a Neighbor's Need 134
VII. A New Campaign 161
VIII. Occupying a Waiting Field — 167
MINISTRY IN THE HOME FIELD.
IX. Answering the Home Call 177
X. A Work of Social Evangelism 199
TRAINING CONSCRIPTS OF PRAYER FOR SERVICE
AROUND THE WoRLD.
XL Scarritt Bible and Training School 231
ORGANIZING AT THE HOME BASE.
When you pray the Lord's Prayer, for what do you
pray? For my daily bread, forgiveness of my sins?
Have you shut the door to shut the world out and be
alone with God? But Jesus taught us to pray "Our
Father." It is a collective prayer. With the first word
it is no longer an experience of the soul alone with
God — the thronging hosts of humanity are present in
the room. The need of others for bread takes place
alongside of our hunger ; the passionate desires of
others to be released from the pressure of evil stand
beside our desire to be forgiven for our sins. It is a
prayer of humanity for humanity and for the individual
only as a part of humanity. — From "Christianising
Community Life," by Ward-Edwards.
BANDING TOGETHER FOR SERVICE.
THE heroic women who laid the founda
tions of the woman's missionary work in the
Methodist Episcopal Church, South, were pio
neers in the faith, leading the generations to
follow into fields of service and conquest. As
is always true in any great enterprise, the be
ginnings of their work can be traced back to a
vision and purpose born in the hearts of a few
chosen of God.
SERVICE IN FOREIGN FIELDS.
The First Auxiliary.
The earliest authentic record indicates that
the first effort to organize and project in the
South any form of missionary work for wom
en was undertaken in 1858 by Mrs. M. L. Kel-
ley. She was the wife of an itinerant preacher,
the Rev. John Kelley, at that time located at
Bethlehem, Tenn., Lebanon Circuit. The rec
ords show that a missionary society was or
ganized and aid sent to Mrs. J. W. Lambuth
for the maintenance of a school she was con-
14 WOMEN AND MISSIONS.
ducting in Shanghai, China. Two years later
the Civil War broke out, and this initial ef
fort seemed lost in the great catastrophe that
followed. But the missionary zeal in the
heart of this woman could not be quenched,
for after fourteen years had passed we find
her living in Nashville, Tenn., and with re
newed effort seeking to make her vision of
service a reality. Her son, Rev. D. C. Kelley,
D.D., says in speaking of this new society:
"In the fall of 1872 the work of canvassing
had begun. A good deal of private effort had
been made, and meetings had been called in
the various churches of the city. The first
meeting of the women \vas on a cold day in
November, 1873. The picture is still vivid of
the four women who that day came together,
the result of much personal effort by Mrs. Kel
ley and repeated notices from the pulpit by
the pastor of McKendree Church. They sat
on the ends of the four pews nearest the reg
ister on the western side of old McKendree
Church. As Mrs. Kelley sat with the list of
names she had obtained, waiting, all seemed
hopeless. The pastor, Dr. Kelley, entered the
church and said: 'Organize your society just
as if the house were filled.' Her heart was
warmed, and she knelt in prayer. This so-
BANDING TOGETHER FOR SERVICE. 15
ciety took up the same work in which the
original society had been engaged: aid to Mrs.
Lambuth's school in Shanghai."
Mrs. D. H. McGavock says of this meet
ing, which has since come to be of such large
import: "After much thought and prayer, a
day was appointed by Mrs. Kelley to meet the
women of the Church and bring the subject
before them. When the day came the ele
ments of earth, air, and sky all seemed to cast
a shadow over the effort. As the wind whirled
and the rain poured, the disappointed mother
of the movement stood at a window of her
dwelling watching the storm. As the clouds
emptied their floods the tears flowed from her
eyes on her pale cheeks, but her faith never
wavered and her resolve to carry on this
work did not for a moment falter. Entering
her strong tower of prayer, she committed the
whole cause to her Heavenly Father without
a moment's fear of the result."
After months of delay another effort was
made, and at last the desire of the years began
to take form. In April, 1874, the Woman's Bi
ble Mission of Nashville was organized, with
the following officers : Mrs. M. L. Kelley, Pres
ident; Mrs. D. H. McGavock, Corresponding
Secretary; Miss Lucie Ross, Recording Secre-
1 6 WOMEN AND MISSIONS,
tary; and Mrs. T. D. Fite, Treasurer. A vice
president and managers, one from each of the
different Churches in the city, were also elect
ed. The society had two distinct objects —
namely, "To send pecuniary aid to the foreign
mission fields and to employ efficiently the
women at home in a systematic visitation and
Bible instruction of the poor and destitute in
their own midst."
This new society thus kept in mind the local
work and revived that which had been begun
on the Lebanon Circuit — namely, the support
of Mrs. Lambuth's work in China.
In 1875 Rev. and Mrs. J. W. Lambuth vis
ited the United States, and in their tour of the
home Churches spoke in McKendree Church.
Mrs. McGavock was so stirred by their mes
sages concerning the needs of China that under
a strict pledge of secrecy she was moved to
give to Mrs. Lambuth the diamonds which had
pinned her wedding veil. The funds from
their sale purchased a new building for the
school in Shanghai, which was called the Clop-
ton School, thus honoring Mrs. McGavock's
mother, whose maiden name was Clopton.
Work Begun in Baltimore.
A few years prior to the organization of
BANDING TOGETHER FOR SERVICE. 17
the Nashville auxiliary, Mrs, Juliana Hayes
had begun work in Trinity Church, Baltimore,
forming a society called the Trinity Home
Mission. In 1873, however, having heard
Mrs. Lambuth's call for aid in China, the so
ciety changed its name to the Woman's Bible
Mission, which embraced in its efforts the
work of foreign missions. Through the in
fluence of Mrs. Hayes this organization soon
led to the forming of other societies in that
vicinity. In April, 1873, one hundred dollars
was sent to Mrs. Lambuth from seven auxili
aries of Baltimore. This fund was applied to
the support of a Bible woman, the daughter-
in-law of the Bible woman who had years be
fore received support from the first auxiliary
on the Lebanon Circuit. The contributions
from the Baltimore society from 1873 to 1878
amounted to $1,011.50.
A Connectional Missionary Society.
Correspondence was carried on between the
officers of the Baltimore and Nashville socie
ties, and here and there throughout the Church
missionary fires began to burn. The result
was that there came into the mind and heart
of Mrs. McGavock the thought of the possi
bility of a connectional missionary society.
1 8 WOMEN AND MISSIONS.
She prepared a memorial to the General Con
ference in 18/4 asking for authority to organ
ize a woman's department of missions. The
request was referred to the Committee on Mis
sions and was never heard from again.
This failure increased the determination of
the women to push forward in the work that
they knew so well God was calling them to do.
Soon afterwards their first leader, Mrs. Kelley,
was called to her reward, but the women did
not flag in their efforts. Mrs. Butler says:
"Mrs. McGavock took advantage of every
opening and of every concurring thought to
push forward this new phase of missionary
work. She opened correspondence with all of
the prominent ministers and members of the
Church, both men and women, whose names
and addresses she could obtain ; and some who
were prominent in other denominations were
liberal contributors, supporting boys and girls
in Mrs. Lambuth's school. But now the
thought of sending a young wroman to China
to be supported by the women at home began
to assume a shade of importance and a tone
A writer in the Christian Advocate asked
this pertinent question: "What have we for
Christian women to do?"
BANDING TOGETHER FOR SERVICE. 19
A few weeks later Mrs. McGavock answered
in the following words: "The Methodist Epis
copal Church, South, seems to be waking up
to the fact that women are both able and will
ing to render effective service in evangelizing
the world. Almost every week letters come
from women in different States asking for in
formation in reference to organizing societies,
the best objects on which to expend funds al
ready collected, and the channel through which
such funds should be sent. The women of our
beloved Church are aroused ; united effort, con
cert of action is all that is lacking in the wom
en of Southern Methodism. They are willing,
generous, and vitally spiritual ; but they stand
aloof from this duty, each waiting for the
other to lead, to suggest and adopt plans that
will advance this movement. The heart-stir
ring letters from Bishop Marvin and Dr. Hen-
drix in the East have aroused the missionary
pulse to healthy action. Herein will lie the
secret of success. Every circuit and station
should have an auxiliary society, and every
woman and child should give something an
nually and send their contributions to a given
center; then reports should be sent and pub
lished that all might know the amounts,
sources, and the direction given to the funds."
20 WOMEN AND MISSIONS.
This shows that the whole plan was mapped
out very clearly in the minds of these leaders.
Mrs. Hayes was untiring in her efforts to
interest all with whom she came in touch, and
the new undertaking was pushed with en
thusiasm and unflagging zeal.
In the year 1877 the first woman, in the
person of Miss Lochie Rankin, offered her
self for missionary service. This gave re
newed enthusiasm and another tangible reason
for pushing the woman's missionary cause
before the General Conference, which was to
meet the following year in Atlanta, Ga.
At that meeting Dr. D. C. Kelley, then the
Assistant Secretary of the Board of Missions,
in report No. 4 of the Committee on Missions,
recommended that the women of the Church
be authorized to organize missionary work
under a constitution. The need of the field
was so evident and the ability of the women
to help meet it so apparent that, at last, the
shackles of conservatism were sufficiently
loosed to make possible the unanimous adoption
of the report. Then followed the organiza
tion of the Woman's General Executive As
On May 23, 1878, at 10 A.M., in the First
Church in Atlanta a convention of women
BANDING TOGETHER FOR SERVICE. 21
was held, and fifty-four names were enrolled
as members. The College of Bishops appoint
ed the officers and twenty-three women, living
in different sections of the South, as man
agers. Mrs. Juliana Hayes, of Baltimore,
was President; the wives of the bishops, eight
in all, were Vice Presidents; Mrs. D. H. Mc-
Gavock, of Nashville, Tenn., Corresponding
Secretary; and Mrs. James Whitworth, of
Nashville, Tenn., Treasurer.
In 1882, by action of the General Confer
ence, the name of the General Executive As
sociation was changed to the Woman's Board
of Missions. Later the word "foreign" was
The first annual meeting of the General Ex
ecutive Association was held in the Broadway
Church, Louisville, Ky., May 16, 17, 1879.
The reports at that time gave evidence of the
untiring service of love that was given in that
initial year of organized service. The Confer
ence societies numbered fifteen, while the aux
iliaries were two hundred and eighteen. The
membership enrolled had reached 5,890 and
the money reported amounted to $4,014.37.
Miss Lochie Rankin, of Shanghai, China, six
22 WOMEN AND MISSIONS.
Bible women, and the Clopton School had that
year received support.
The next annual meeting was held in Nash
ville, Tenn., and it was found that in the sec
ond year of the organization the Conference
societies had grown from fifteen to twenty-
two, with four hundred and seventy-five auxili
aries and 12,548 members.
Probably the most far-reaching plan made at
this meeting was the decision to publish a mis
sionary magazine to be called the Woman's
Missionary Advocate. Mrs. F. A. Butler was
elected editor and continued in that office until
the home and foreign societies were merged.
In the seventh Annual Report we read: "It [the
Missionary Advocate] is a live organ, and the
woman who edits it and the ten thousand who
read it are wide-awake. From the first it has
vindicated its right to be our paper, has justi
fied our faith in its success, and beautifully il
lustrated our happy choice of its editor. It is
the bond of union between the Conference so
cieties — a living, pulsating bond." These
words continued to characterize the magazine
throughout its lifetime.
After the First Twenty Years.
In 1895 the annual meeting was held in
BANDING TOGETHER FOR SERVICE. 23
Meridian, Miss., and neither the president nor
the corresponding secretary was able to be
present. Mrs. Butler, in her "History of the
Woman's Foreign Missionary Society," says:
"In less than one month after this meeting the
sad news came that the revered president had
passed away and entered into the life more
abundant. Mrs. Juliana Hayes died on the
second day of June, 1895. She was a woman
of marvelous power. While president of the
society, in building up the work, she created
an interest in it wherever she traveled or was
heard to speak and invariably brought to the
subject a perennial freshness and enthusiasm.
"The health of the Corresponding Secre
tary, Mrs. McGavock, was also distressingly
precarious, and the end seemed to be approach
ing stealthily, but most surely. Late in Sep
tember, 1895, sne called a meeting of the local
Board to be held in her own chamber ; the busi
ness was presented, and then, when scarcely
able to hold a pen, she signed papers giving
the power of attorney to the Secretary of
Home Affairs, Mrs. S. C. Trueheart, saying:
This is my last official act.' "
After twenty years of pioneer work these
leaders were called away, but there were those
ready to take their places who had been inter-
24 WOMEN AND MISSIONS.
ested from the very beginning. Mrs. True-
heart was elected to fill the place of corre
sponding secretary. She had already served
with Mrs. McGavock as promoter of the home
base, so was eminently fitted to carry on the
work. In an editorial of the September Mis
sionary Voice of 1912 her work and spirit are
characterized in the following words: "The
marked success of the missionary enterprise of
the Church is due in large measure to Mrs.
Trueheart's knowledge of the work both at
home and in the foreign fields; to her calm
judgment, wise leadership, wonderful insight
into character, and deep love of the mission
field." Miss Belle Bennett says of her: "As
an officer and a member of the Woman's
Board of Missions and, after the death of
Mrs. McGavock, as General Secretary, she did
more to frame the policy and secure the enact
ment of laws than any other one woman in
Upon the death of Mrs. Hayes, Mrs. Wight-
man was elected to the presidency of the Wom
an's Board of Foreign Missions. She served
until 1906, at which time she resigned on ac
count of failing health. Throughout these
years she gave voluntary service unsparingly.
Her power and influence is expressed in the
BANDING TOGETHER FOR SERVICE. 25
words of Mrs. R. E. Stackhouse: "For many
years she bore unceasingly the toils arid trials
incident to pioneer work, for the Church had to
be won to the cause of woman's work. She
met barriers that would have made a weaker
vessel falter. In her presence all apathy to the
work of sending the gospel to heathen nations
vanished. Her enthusiasm was contagious;
assemblies addressed by her caught the inspira
tion of her mighty faith, were lifted to higher
ground, moved to give themselves under the
inspiration of her sanctifying influence."
Miss M. L. Gibson, who had been serving
for a number of years as vice president, was
elected to the presidency upon the retirement
of Mrs. Wightman. In this capacity she con
tinued to serve until the union of the boards in
SERVICE AT HOME.
It will be recalled that the first auxiliaries
embraced in their work ministry at home,
and that this service soon became overshad
owed by the appalling need in the foreign
field. The vision of the world as one great
field to be conquered for Christ had not yet
been grasped, and thus it was that God must
seek in other directions for the embodiment
of service at home.
26 WOMEN AND MISSIONS.
A Leader Called.
The home work took form first through the
vision of Miss Lucinda B. Helm. In speak
ing of her burning desire for service in this
field, she says: "I felt as if some propelling
power beyond me had entered my soul and was
moving me with an irresistible force to throw
my life into this work of helping to redeem my
country from the enemy of souls and to es
tablish the kingdom of the Lord."
Bishop Hargrove, in his work in the West,
had been compelled to leave several charges
without appointments because there were no
parsonages in which the preachers could live.
To meet this need the men at the head of the
Board of Church Extension began to look to
the women of the Church for aid in building
these homes, and Miss Helm was asked to
formulate a plan for woman's work and to
write a constitution and by-laws. In this plan
she included local home mission work. When
it was submitted to the Board of Church Ex
tension they prepared a memorial to the Gen
eral Conference which read as follows:
"Whereas there is great lack of parsonages in
the weaker charges and throughout the
Church, and whereas there is no organized
agency to supply this demand which appeals
BANDING TOGETHER FOR SERVICE. 27
so directly and so strongly to the Christian en
deavor of woman, whose special realm is the
home, the Board of Church Extension believes
that it is expedient that the General Confer
ence provide for a Woman's Department of
Church Extension having specific reference to
the supply of parsonages for itinerant preach
ers, and ask the body so to do."
The Woman's Department of Church Exten
The provision which the General Conference
finally made for the woman's work reads as
follows: "The Board of Church Extension
shall organize a department to be known as
the Woman's Department of Church Exten
sion, the object of which shall be to collect
funds for purchasing and securing parsonages.
All funds so collected shall be subject to the
direction of the local boards of Church Ex
tension for the objects specified." It will be
noted that the work of the women was confined
strictly within the limits of parsonage building
and that it resolved itself merely into the col
lection of funds for that purpose. It was the
beginning, however, of larger things for the
At a meeting of the Board of Church Ex-
28 WOMEN AND MISSIONS.
tension on May 21, 1886, Miss Luanda B.
Helm was elected General Secretary of the
Woman's Department of Church Extension.
In her second annual report she says: "Twen
ty-four thousand leaflets have been distributed.
The woman's work has been kept before the
public through the various Church papers and
earnestly presented to individuals by personal
letters. In response to our efforts, 214 socie
ties have been organized, reporting 3,529 mem
bers. The children are reported effectively at
work in sixty-one places. The financial report
is most encouraging. The benefit that our so
cieties have been to the local work is shown
in the report of 171 added to Sabbath schools
and a large sum of special donations reported
as raised for local work, which amounted to
$4,579.09. This was raised by extra efforts
outside their dues. We have endeavored
through our societies to foster spirituality and
urge greater personal effort on the part of our
women and children to be missionaries at
home and give the comforts and saving grace
of the gospel to those around them."
In addition to the work done at her desk,
Miss Helm traveled over the Church organ
izing societies, all without remuneration. The
BANDING TOGETHER FOR SERVICE. 29
Board wished to appropriate money for her
salary, but she refused to accept it.
The Woman's Parsonage and Home Mission
As she went from place to place she ob
served that societies for local work were
springing up everywhere, and in some places
the women were beginning to awaken to the
need of a connectional home mission society.
As a consequence, Miss Helm resolved to pre
sent to the coming General Conference of 1890
a request for authorization to add the work of
home missions to that of parsonage building.
Even her stanchest friends opposed her, say
ing that the parsonage society was still young
and that the Church was not yet ready for
such activities among the women. It was also
stoutly maintained that the organization of
home mission societies would hinder the work
of the foreign mission society. Miss Helm,
however, answered all of these objections so
forcefully and was so successful in arousing
the interest of the leading men and women of
the Church that the General Conference ap
proved the plan, changing the name of the or
ganization to the Woman's Parsonage and
Home Mission Society. Provision was made
30 WOMEN AND MISSIONS.
for a central committee, with officers who
should share the work which Miss Helm had
begun. The following names make up the roll
of this committee: Mrs. E. E. Wiley, Presi
dent; Miss Lucinda B. Helm, General Secre
tary; Mrs. George Kendrick, General Treas
urer. Managers: Mrs. R. K. Hargrove, Mrs.
Nathan Scarritt, Mrs. D. Atkins, Mrs. S. S.
King, Miss Emily M. Allen, Mrs. Maria Car
ter, Mrs. Ellen Burdett, and Miss Sue Bennett.
After the death of Miss Sue Bennett, Miss
Belle H. Bennett became a member of the
Central Committee, and the name of Mrs.
Gross Alexander was added as Editor of Leaf
Parsonage work was continued in the same
manner as formerly, but the work of home
missions was projected and was entirely under
the direction of the Central Committee.
The first annual meeting of the Central
Committee was held at Chestnut Street
Church, Louisville, Ky., in April, 1891. Miss
Helm's report showed 472 auxiliaries and a
total amount of $10,477.37 raised during the
Mrs. Wiley continued to act as president of
the Central Committee until the year 1896, at
which time Miss Belle Bennett was elected and
BANDING TOGETHER FOR SERVICE. 31
continued as the head of the Home Mission
Society throughout the remainder of its his
tory as a separate organization.
"Our Homes" Published.
Soon after the new organization took form,
Miss Helm began the publication of the home
mission organ, Our Homes. She was always
delicate in health, and as her strength began
to wane it became apparent that the work she
was doing was beyond her physical powers.
She resigned her secretaryship in 1893 and
Mrs. R. K. Hargrove was elected in her place.
Miss Helm, however, continued to edit Our
Homes up to the time of her death. On the
death of her sister, Miss Mary Helm became
the editor and continued in that office until
this magazine and the Missionary Advocate
were discontinued. Miss Helm's large vision
and her unusual powers of mind made her an
editor of unusual ability. Much of the larger
development of the home mission enterprise
was due to the power of her pen.
The Woman's Home Mission Society.
In 1898 there came to the organization an
other change which meant great enlargement
of the work. Bv the action of the General
32 WOMEN AND MISSIONS.
Conference the name was changed to the
Woman's Home Mission Society and, to take
the place of the Central Committee, a Woman's
Board of Home Missions was organized con
sisting of a president, two vice presidents, a
general secretary, a recording secretary, a gen
eral treasurer, and a corresponding secretary
or alternate from each Conference. Thus
again the responsibility was extended. The
first officers of the Board were as follows:
President, Miss Belle H. Bennett; First Vice
President, Mrs. J. D. Hammond; Second Vice
President, Mrs. T. C. Carroll; General Secre
tary, Mrs. R. K. Hargrove; Recording Secre
tary, Miss Emily Allen; Treasurer, Mrs. W.
Mrs. R. K. Hargrove was general secretary
for seven years and then resigned on account
of failing health. She gives the following ac
count of the growth of the work during her
administration: "Through God's blessing, in
the face of almost insurmountable difficulties,
our members have grown in seven years from
11,107 local and connectional members, most
of whom were local, to 23,315 connectional
members. Our annual receipts have increased
from $5,038 to $40,190 and our local funds
from $3,936 to $20,549. At the beginning of
BANDING TOGETHER FOR SERVICE. 33
this period we held no property, but now we
have possessions valued at $80,000." Mrs.
R. W. MacDonell succeeded Mrs. Hargrove
in the office of general secretary. It was dur
ing her administration that the office of dea
coness was inaugurated and the largest devel
opment came to the work of city missions.
A UNITED WORK.
The Woman's Board of Foreign Missions
had had a corporate existence of thirty-two
years and the Woman's Board of Home Mis
sions twenty-five years, when in 1910 the two
were merged and a unification plan consum
mated with the Board of Missions.
The Woman's Board of Foreign Missions
had for a number of years worked under the
handicap of imposed restrictions, and in 1906
a commission was appointed by the General
Conference for the express purpose of pre
senting to the General Conference of 1910 a
plan of unification. The commission was com
posed of nine men and only four women. Both
of the woman's boards, in executive session,
voted almost unanimously against any change
in their autonomy. A number of meetings of
the commission was held, but no satisfactory
plan evolved, so when the final meeting came,
34 WOMEN AND MISSIONS.
just prior to the opening of the General Con
ference, the entire question of unification was
reopened. A plan was finally agreed upon
which was presented to the General Conference
and ratified without amendment.
Under this plan the two woman's hoards
ceased to exist as separate organizations, and
the Woman's Missionary Council was created
as their successor which was to function with
much of their former power, subject, ho\vever,
to the sanction of the Board of Missions. Pro
vision was also made for the membership of
fifteen women on the Board of Missions — ten
managers, four secretaries, who were also
secretaries of the Board of Missions, and the
The plan was new and untried, and the rep
resentation of the women on the Board was
comparatively small, yet they entered into the
new enterprise with heart and enthusiasm, be
lieving it to be a step forward in the union of
the forces for the upbuilding of the kingdom.
Their pledge to the Church was made before
the General Conference in the following
We are not unmindful of all that is accorded women
by this measure, but we also remember the great heart
ache that will come to the women of the Church as we
BANDING TOGETHER FO& SERVICE. 35
pass out of the old life into the new. We plead that
you will, therefore, make no radical changes in the re
port of the Committee on Missions regarding the wom
en, their special work, their responsibility, and the col
lection and direction of moneys contributed by them.
God helping us, we will do all in our power to make
the proposed plan effective in bringing the world to a
knowledge of Jesus Christ and his saving power.
MARIA LAYNG GIBSON,
BELLE H. BENNETT,
MRS. R. W. MACDONELL,
MRS. J. B. COBB.
The officers and executive committees of
the two woman's boards met at Asheville be
fore the adjournment of the General Confer
ence. Miss Belle H. Bennett, whose heart and
life had for years been in the work of foreign
missions and who had from the beginning
been the great leader of the home mission
forces, was unanimously and without question
elected as president of this new united woman's
work. Mrs. J. B. Cobb, who had been for a
number of years Associate Secretary in the
Woman's Foreign Board, was elected Corre
sponding Secretary of the Woman's Mission
ary Council, Foreign Department; while Mrs.
R. W. MacDonell was elected to the secretary
ship of the Home Department. Mrs. A. L.
Marshall was elected Editorial Secretary ; Miss
Mabel Head, Educational Secretary; Miss
36 WOMEN AND MISSIONS.
Daisy Davies, Field Secretary; and Mrs. F.
H. E. Ross, Treasurer. Mrs. Fitzgerald S.
Parker, Recording Secretary of the Woman's
Foreign Board and Mrs. Frank Siler, Record
ing Secretary of the Woman's Home Board
were both elected to this same work in the
Woman's Missionary Council. The following
ten women were elected as Managers of the
Board of Missions: Miss Belle H. Bennett,
Miss Maria Layng Gibson, Mrs. L. P. Smith,
Mrs. Luke G. Johnson, Mrs. W. F. Barnum,
Mrs. E. B. Chappell, Miss Daisy Davies, Mrs.
Hume R. Steele, Miss Mary Moore, and Mrs.
On April 20, 1911, the first session of the
Woman's Missionary Council was held in St.
John's Church, St. Louis, Mo. The plan of
union, had left the Conferences and auxiliaries
free to unite or remain separate, and at this
meeting there came an unexpected demand for
definite ruling on this subject. The Council
wisely advised union and left the matter to
be settled by the Conferences and auxiliaries
themselves. While there was much opposition
to unification in some quarters, yet within a
few short months nearly every Conference had
loyally fallen into line., and the world rapidly
BANDING TOGETHER FOR SERVICE. 37
became to these missionary women one great
At the time of the third annual session of
the Council the membership of the woman's
united societies was increasing so rapidly and
the forward look becoming so filled with hope
that the President recommended the election
of a secretary whose duty it should be to en
large and strengthen the home base. At this
meeting the office of Home Base Secretary was
authorized and Mrs. B. W. Lipscomb elected
to fill the place.
In 1914 Mrs. J. B. Cobb declined reelection,
and Miss Mabel Head was selected as her suc
cessor, while Mrs. H. R. Steele was chosen for
the office of Educational Secretary.
The work under the new plan grew so
rapidly that a larger working force was de
manded. This demand resulted in legislation
by the General Conference of 1918 providing
for additional secretaries: two executives for
the home department, two for the foreign,
and two for the educational. The following
were elected to fill these places: Mrs. R. W.
MacDonnell, in charge of Deaconess and City
Mission Work; Mrs. J. W. Downs, in charge
of Home Mission Educational Institutions and
Social Service ; Miss Mabel K. Howell, Execu-
38 WOMEN AND MISSIONS.
tive Secretary of Oriental Fields ; and Miss
Esther Case, Executive Secretary for Latin-
American and African fields; Mrs. H. R.
Steele, Educational Secretary in charge of
candidate work; and Miss Sara Estelle Has-
kin, Educational Secretary, in charge of litera
Mrs. R. W. MacDonell resigned in 1919
and Mrs. J. H. McCoy was elected to fill her
place. Mrs. MacDonell had served the Wom
an's Board of Home Missions for ten years
and the Woman's Missionary Council for nine
years, making in all nineteen years of efficient
service. Her report at the end of this period
says: "Through God's blessing this work in
these years has grown from a cash collection
of $48,249.17 to $263,896.07; while City Mis
sion Board expenditures have increased from
$6,237.76 to $81,418.77. Nineteen hundred
parsonages were aided. The endowment funds
have increased from $19,494.81 to $119,104.
Work among Negroes, Mexicans, and de
pendent girls has been inaugurated. The office
of deaconess has been created in the Church,
and its development committed to the Home
Department. One hundred and twenty-five
deaconesses and one hundred and eleven home
missionaries have been trained and sent out
BANDING TOGETHER FOR SERVICE. 39
into the work. The number of city mission
boards has increased from eight to thirty-six,
while a system of Wesley Houses and other
social centers has been developed. There are
now thirty-seven Wesley Houses, Bethlehem
Houses, and other social centers, and seven co
operative homes for working girls in opera
In 1920 the organized woman's missionary
work of the Methodist Episcopal Church,
South, marked its forty-second year. The
story of its achievements is told briefly in the
chapters which follow.
MINISTRY IN THE FIELDS OF THE ORIENT.
Lead me, yea, lead me deeper into life,
This suffering human life wherein thou liv'st
And breathest still and holdst thy way divine.
'Tis here, O pitying Christ, where thee I seek,
Here where the strife is fiercest, where the sun
Beats down upon the highway thronged with men,
And in the raging mart. O deeper lead
My soul into the living world of souls
Where thou dost move.
—Richard Watson Gilder.
THE FIRST MISSION FIELDS.
The Clapton School.
The Clopton Boarding School, conducted by
Mrs. J. W. Lambuth, in Shanghai, China,
was the strong appeal which urged the wom
en of the Methodist Episcopal Church, South,
to launch out upon their first great missionary
undertaking. Consequently, when Miss Lochie
Rankin offered herself for China she was ac
cepted and appointed to assist Mrs. Lambuth.
A contribution in money, which came from the
gift and sale of Mrs. D. H. McGavock's wed
ding diamonds, had already made possible a
building for this school. The gift carried
with it the name "Clopton," in honor of Mrs.
McGavock's mother, whose maiden name was
Because of the inadvisability of enlarging
the Clopton School, it was urged by Dr. Wal
ter Lambuth that a school for girls be opened
44 WOMEN AND MISSIONS.
in Nanziang, a city fifteen miles from Shang
hai. Accordingly, at the close of Miss Ran-
kin's first year she was appointed to this city,
which could be reached only by boat or wheel
At the first meeting of the General Execu
tive Association of the Woman's Missionary
Society $1,500 was appropriated for this new
school and $750 for a second missionary, and
Pleasant College became the first real mis
sionary enterprise of the women of the M.
E. Church. South. Miss Dora Rankin, the
sister of Miss Lochie Rankin, offered herself
in response to the call that was sent out for
another worker. Pleasant College was opened
with fourteen boarding pupils. This number
soon increased to thirty, the full number that
could receive accommodation. In addition to
the boarding school, several day schools were
opened for boys and girls. With indomitable
courage and unwavering faith this first work
was carried forward under the trying circum
stances of complete isolation and strange sur
roundings. In 1883 a larger school, a new
church, and a new school for the boys made
the wrork less difficult.
Two years later a blow fell upon this new
missionary enterprise, when Miss Dora Ran-
THE FIRST MISSION FIELDS. 45
kin's health failed, and she was called to her
reward. The heroic sister, however, never
abated her efforts, but concentrated her mind
and soul upon the enlargement of the work.
She had been conducting a day school for
boys in Kading under the most discouraging
circumstances when suddenly, in 1887, the
doors of opportunity were thrown wide open.
The literati of the city had come to appreci
ate her efforts and were begging her to open
an Anglo-Chinese school. Misses Kate Rob
erts and Ada Reagan were left in charge
at Nantziang while Miss Rankin worked in
Kading, itinerating between the two places in
an uncomfortable canal boat. Because of the
difficulty of making the daily trips, she moved
to Kading and was the first foreign woman to
sleep in that great walled city. Mrs. Cobb
says of this wonderful work: "All classes had
to be accommodated. The gifted son of the
official; the shrewd, quick-witted son of the
tradesman; the less brilliant son of the day
laborer — all heard the old, old story with the
child of the poorest coolie. The school was
arranged in every particular to suit the Chi
nese. There were no stoves, no wrooden floors,
only large rooms with bare stone floors which
even the bright winter sunshine could not
46 WOMEN AND MISSIONS.
make comfortable. Despite the heat of sum
mer, the rooms were endurable only during
that season. At last riots became common in
the city, and though Miss Rankin's work was
not disturbed, it was deemed wise for her to re
move to Nanziang. The work in the two
places was very exhausting; but she met all
her engagements through cold, rain, heat, and
illness; and the school at Nanziang increased
in interest and numbers, the power of the
gospel penetrating all classes."
In 1901 the General Board of Missions de
cided to carry on work in prefectural cities
only, and upon the withdrawal of other mis
sion workers it seemed wise for the women
to abandon Nanziang and Kading. This was
a great distress to both Miss Rankin and the
people whom she served. She still continued
her work among them, however, by paying
the expenses of a day school at Nanziang.
Miss Rankin, together with Miss Ella Cof
fee who had become associated with her, was
appointed by the bishop to pioneer work in
Huchow. Miss Rankin initiated a school for
boys, while Miss Coffee opened the Virginia
School for Girls. Miss Rankin remained at
her post of service for nineteen years without
a furlough. She came home in 1914, but hur-
THE FIRST MISSION FIELDS. 47
ried back as soon as the Council would allow
to resume with glad heart the service of long
years in China. Her courage and energy
and ability set a pace for the work in this
field that never lagged.
The steamship City of Peking sailed from
San Francisco October 18, 1884, carrying
nine missionaries, among them Miss Laura
Hay good, a talented high school teacher, of
Atlanta, Ga., who had responded to the plea
of Dr. Young J. Allen for more women mis
sionaries to lead the women of China. His
vision of the redemption of China was all-
inclusive and carried with it the conviction
that the high-class Chinese should be reached
by the gospel of Jesus Christ.
Miss Haygood's first work after she reached
the field was the teaching of English in the
Anglo-Chinese College. She soon caught Dr.
Allen's vision for reaching the leadership of
China and set her whole mind and heart upon
the establishment of a high-grade school in
Shanghai for high-class Chinese girls. While
waiting for funds from the Woman's Board
she taught in the Clopton School, which after-
48 WOMEN AND MISSIONS.
wards became the primary department of the
high school which she established. After
many delays, the school had its opening in the
fall of 1893. This was the beginning of a
new era in woman's work in China. From
seven, the first enrollment, the number rapid
ly increased to hundreds, until within ten
years the buildings were outgrown. McGav-
ock Home was added, the parsonage next door
secured ; but still girls were being turned away.
The church building on the compound was
purchased, neighboring houses were rent
ed; still these did not suffice for the number
who applied for admittance. Miss. Haygood,
in her seven years of service in the school,
put upon it a stamp which marked it as the
leading girls' school in all China.
Miss Helen Richardson, her worthy suc
cessor, gave to McTyeire seventeen years of
self-sacrificing service, helping to build the
character of the womanhood of China. Dur
ing her administration the growth and circum
stances of the institution demanded a change
of locality, and in 1916 a handsome property
of nine acres was purchased in a suburb of
Shanghai. The high school was moved into
the twenty-five room residence which was al
ready on the property, while the grades were
THE FIRST MISSION FIELDS. 49
continued down town. Upon the death of
Miss Helen Richardson the school was car
ried on for one year by the faculty without a
principal in charge. In 1918 Miss Martha
Pyle was appointed Principal. Miss Pyle had
once, for a short time, been a teacher in Mc-
Tyeire. She had also opened the Laura Hay-
good in Soochow and continued at its head
until it was changed to a normal school. She
was, therefore, well fitted as the successor of
the two able principals who had preceded her.
If the history of the students of McTyeire
school were written, it would be found that
they have come from homes of all classes
of Chinese people and from all sections of
China. It would also be discovered that the
graduates have come to occupy positions of
trust and leadership, and that they have shared
in the making of new China. In 1920 twenty-
nine young Chinese women had been sent to
American colleges on the indemnity fund.
Of this number thirteen were McTyeire girls
who had stood the test and won the honor.
The Laura Haygood School.
The woman's work in Soochow, like that
in Shanghai, owed its beginning to the wife
50 WOMEN AND MISSIONS.
of a missionary. In 1881 an appropriation
was made by the Woman's Board for the
opening of a boarding school in Soochow to
be in charge of Mrs. A. P. Parker. A plant
was purchased, and the school was opened
the following year with twelve pupils and a
teacher who had been trained in the Clopton
school in Shanghai. This school for a time
bore the name of East Side Boarding School,
but was later called the Mary Lambuth School.
In her first Deport, Mrs. Parker says: "I
spend all my mornings with the scholars, an
hour and a half of which time is spent in
their Christian books, geography, and arith
metic, the remainder of the time in sewing.
In the afternoon a native teacher takes
charge." An item in the report of the fol
lowing year shows the untiring effort and the
multiplicity of tasks undertaken by this con
secrated woman. She says: "We have taken
up no new work. It has required all our time
and strength to keep up the old under the de
mands of its natural growth. We still carry
on the day schools for boys and girls, the
Bible class for women, the boarding school,
and Sabbath school, thus having under con
stant Christian instruction over 180 women
and children." Thus we can see that through
THE FIRST MISSION FIELDS. 51
Mrs. Parker's untiring efforts the way for
our work in Soochow was pioneered and the
foundations laid. She continued in charge of
the boarding school until 1887, when it was
turned over to Miss Lou Phillips. Mrs. J. P.
Campbell afterwards directed the affairs of the
school until 1895, when Miss Martha Pyle
undertook its supervision. Miss Pyle began
at once to urge the enlargement of the insti
tution. She presented to the Board the spe
cial need for the Christian education of the
women of that section, in order that the Chris
tian men who came out from Soochow Uni
versity might not, necessarily, be handicapped
by wedding heathen wives. It was in the
plan of Miss Laura Haygood, when she was
Superintendent of the mission, to establish a
school in Soochow that would be the equal of
In 1901 the Board voted the consolidation
of the Mary Lambuth and the Clopton Schools,
giving to the Shanghai school the name Clop-
ton-Lambuth. At the same time plans were
made for the establishment of a larger school
in Soochow to be named the Laura Haygood.
Miss Pyle, having had a year on furlough
and a year of teaching in McTyeire, returned
to open the Laura Haygood in an old build-
52 WOMEN AND MISSIONS.
ing and to plan for the erection of a new build
ing. As the Laura Haygood began to assume
pleasing proportions, one of the missionaries
wrote: "The Laura Haygood, when, completed,
will be worthy of the name it bears and a fit
ting memorial to one who gave her life for
China." The new building was finally com
pleted in 1906, and the high standard that the
school has maintained throughout the years
of its existence has placed it in the ranks of
the best schools for girls in China. Many
Christian women have gone out from its
doors who have honored the name of their
In 1916 the demand for a training school
that would supply the day schools with trained
Christian teachers had become so urgent that
the Laura Haygood was changed into a high-
grade normal. Miss Mary Lou White served
as principal for the first year and was then
succeeded by Miss Kate Hackney, who held
the place until 1920, when she was in turn
succeeded by Miss Louise Robinson.
At the annual meeting in St. Louis, 1881,
Mrs. A. B. Davidson, of the Baltimore Con
ference, had proposed the building up of a
THE FIRST MISSION FIELDS. 53
fund through gifts to be made in memory of
departed ones. The plan was approved, and
when the school for Bible women was opened
in East Soochow by Mrs. Julia Gaither this
accumulated fund was used, and the school
was called the Davidson Memorial in honor
of Mrs. Davidson. The wrork of this school
was to teach women who had professed faith
in Jesus to read the Bible and to do personal
work in the heathen homes of the city. Later
the Bible school was transferred to West Soo
chow, where a center of work was formed by
union with the industrial school and the girls'
In 1904 Miss Virginia Atkinson was put
in full charge of the West Soochow work,
which included not only the Davidson Me
morial, with its various departments, but also
nine day schools. About this same time the
Louise Home, a residence for missionaries,
was moved, brick by brick, from Nanziang to
West Soochow, a distance of eighty miles. The
Louise Home had been the gift of Miss Achsah
Wilkins, a member of Trinity Church Auxilia-
ary, Baltimore, in memory of her departed
sister, Louise. It had been the home of the
Rankin sisters and their coworkers during
their years of service in Nanziang.
54 WOMEN AND MISSIONS.
The industrial department of the Davidson
Memorial, later called the Mocha Garden Mis
sion, was enterprised by Miss Atkinson and
Miss Susie Williams. Miss Williams's thought
had been to keep the girls who were in
the literary department under Christian in
fluence longer than the regular school hours
and at the same time give them an opportunity
to earn a livelihood. The school grew so rap
idly, first under the supervision of Miss Wil
liams and later of Miss Mary Culler White,
that in 1905 it was moved into larger quar
ters. The prosperity continued until the "mul
berry grove," a desirable piece of land ad
jacent to the Davidson Memorial, was pur
chased, and in 1911 a new house was erected.
In 1912 Miss Frances Burkhead was made
business manager. The number of workers
was increased, and the sales increased pro
portionately. Orders for the exquisite work
done in the Mocha Garden Mission came from
China, America, the Philippines, Korea, Eng
land, Norway, and Australia.
Beautiful as was the work and important
as was the financial results for the workers,
far more important was the spiritual help that
the women received while they sat, two at a
frame, and listened to the daily instruction
THE FIRST MISSION FIELDS. 55
given by the Bible women. Many of the
workers themselves became Bible women;
others, learning the value of an education,
entered the academic department of the David
son Memorial. It is also worthy of note that
the women of the Moka Garden Mission were
the first women to learn to read the phonetic
script based on the Wu dialect. The first
primer of the Wu dialect written in the phonet
ic script was prepared by Miss Burkhead.
The first kindergarten in Soochow was
opened in 1907 in connection with the David
son Memorial. The building which housed
the school was made possible 'through the
contributions of the South Georgia Confer
ence. Miss Wu, the teacher in charge, was
trained by Miss Margaret Cook, of the Hiro
shima School in Japan. Soon after the open
ing of the kindergarten the new regent de
creed that kindergarten schools should be
opened in connection with all government
schools. This soon led to the establishment
of a kindergarten training department at the
Davidson. The building was provided by the
North Alabama Conference, and Miss Nevada
56 WOMEN AND MISSIONS.
Martin, of the Mississippi Conference, was
appointed director in 1911.
Mrs. Staley, of Knoxville, Tenn., gave a dia
mond ring which was sold and the money
given to the opening of a kindergarten in
East Soochow. This school was located near
St. John's Church and also in close proximity
to the Laura Haygood School. The Senah
Staley Kindergarten soon grew to such pro
portions under the leadership of Miss Mar
guerite Park that there was not only a morn
ing school but, also, an afternoon school, thus
giving ample opportunity to the normal
kindergarten students for observation and
practice. The idea grew until, in 1914, there
were in all eleven government and mission
kindergartens in Soochow, and a directors'
meeting was being held each month under
the supervision of the missionaries.
In 1915 Miss Kate Hackney was made Su
pervisor of the Kindergarten Training School
at Davidson. The following year this de
partment, together with its teaching force,
was transferred to the Laura Haygood and
made a part of the normal school.
As early as 1880 plans were projected for
THE FIRST MISSION FIELDS. 57
the establishment of medical work in Soochow
to supplement that of the General Board by
serving the women of China and training na
tive women physicians. The first step taken
was to send Miss Mildred Phillips to the
Woman's Medical College in Philadelphia that
she might be trained for this work. The hos
pital was finally opened in 1886 in two build
ings. One contained a ward large enough for
four beds, a room for private patients, and a
service room; the other contained a kitchen
and a wash room. During the first month
280 patients were treated in the dispensary.
After many hindrances the new hospital build
ing was finished and formally opened by Bish
op Wilson in October, 1889. A few years
later a children's hospital was erected. The
"Bright Jewels," of North Carolina, contrib
uted $1,500 to the building and were granted
the privilege of naming it in honor of Mrs.
Mary Black, a much loved woman of that
Conference. The children's hospital was soon
discontinued for lack of a sufficient staff, and
the name Mary Black was then transferred to
the main building.
On the failure of Dr. Phillips's health, Dr.
Anne Walter took charge in September, 1893.
The institution continued under her supervi-
58 W 'OMEN AND MISSIONS.
sion for three years, during which time she
inaugurated the first modern medical school
for Chinese women. In 1896 Dr. Margaret
Polk was put at the head of this medical work,
and that year the first Chinese girls to
receive diplomas from an accredited medical
school were graduated from the Mary Black.
The numbers that graduated in the years to
follow were limited, but the training received
was of the highest order. Dr. Polk secured
a charter for the school in 1908 and was able
to offer to her students the same instruction
that the men of Soochow University were re
ceiving from the same teachers at the same
time. This instruction was of inestimable
value to the pupils, to the institution, and to
the homes visited professionally. Dr. Folk's
influence in the mission grew until she became
a power not only as physician, but also as ad
visor and friend. Thousands came to her
for treatment, and most of them went away
friends of the hospital. She had but little
time for outside visiting and only small op
portunity for learning the difficult language.
For many years she toiled under manifold
difficulties. Often she became discouraged,
but she never gave up hope or ceased to put
into the work her whole life and effort. After
THE FIRST MISSION FIELDS. 59
over sixteen years of devoted service Dr.
Margaret Polk resigned for personal reasons,
and her niece, Dr. Ethel Polk, and Dr. Hattie
Love were put in charge. Both of these wom
en had had exceptional advantages. They
enlarged the scope of the institution by es
tablishing clinics in several country places.
They gave talks to the women on hygiene, tu
berculosis, sanitation of homes, streets, and
public places, on the care and treatment of
children, and on the general health of homes
In 1907 Miss Mary Hood, R.N., was ap
pointed to take charge of the hospital nurs
ing. Up to that time the nurses had had only
such direction as could be given by the busy
physicians in charge. Miss Hood began at
once to develop the nurse-training department,
and in 1913 she writes: "The principal event
of the year was the graduating of the first
class of nurses. The graduating exercises
were held in June. Three received diplomas
and four received certificates testifying to a
practical training of six years."
The standards of the medical and nurse-
training schools were gradually raised. It
was found impossible, however, to meet the
demands of the time in an institution with no
6o WOMEN AND MISSIONS.
larger equipment. In the belief, therefore,
that there was a vast need for well-equipped
and well-trained native women physicians, a
definite effort began to be made for the es
tablishment of an institution that would be
adequate to meet the demands of the times.
This led to the thought of a union woman's
medical school in Shanghai, and negotiations
were begun with other boards for its opening.
For this reason the Mary Black Hospital was
closed in 1918, and the physicians and nurses
served as Red Cross workers in Siberia until
the close of the World War.
Maria Gibson Settlement.
In 1912 Miss Maggie Rogers was appointed
to the Kong Hong Church in Soochow for
the purpose of helping to conserve its evan
gelistic efforts by the establishment of a center
for woman's work. A kindergarten and a day
school were soon developed, the teachers being
sent out from the Davidson Memorial Normal
Department. Two Bible women were also
employed. From this beginning a social cen
ter was soon developed, and in 1914 a one-
hundred-room' Chinese residence was rented to
accommodate the work. In 1916, when Miss
Bennett was in the Orient, this house was pur-
THE FIRST MISSION FIELDS. 6l
chased and at her request given the name of
Maria Gibson Settlement. The opportunities
of the institution were found to be unlimited,
for it was located near the church and within
one block of the biggest shopping street in
Soochow and also within easy reacn of one
thousand high-class and merchant homes.
The work having been begun in the Church,
it continued to be looked upon as the woman's
department of the Church. The fact that
the settlement was being conducted in a Chi
nese house gave to the people an added feel
ing of freedom. A large community room,
tea room, and rest room constituted one of the
most attractive and useful features of the in
stitution. Miss Rogers, as Head Resident, was
for a time assisted by Miss Florence Herndon,
and later Miss Nina Stallings was placed in
charge. In 1920 four Bible women, two day
school teachers, two kindergarten teachers,
and one nurse made up the force of native
At a meeting of the foreign board in 1896
Miss Richardson was commissioned to buy
land in Sungkiang for the erection of a Bible
62 WOMEN AND MISSIONS.
school, to be known as the Hayes-Wilkins In
stitute. Two thousand dollars had been do
nated for this school by Miss Wilkins through
the solicitation of Mrs. Hayes, both of the
Baltimore Conference, and the name was given
in honor of these two women. The school
was completed in 1898 and dedicated by
Bishop Wilson in October of that year. The
chapel was named for Melissa Baker, thereby
honoring another member of the Baltimore
Conference. At first the pupils were few,
but the women of the city began to visit the
school in such numbers that the prejudice
against the foreigners was broken down, giv
ing the missionaries access to the people. In
time the building became so crowded that an
addition was a necessity. Again a Baltimore
woman responded to the need, and in 1904
furnished the money for the building of
Thomas Annex, which bears the name of its
donor. In 1907 the Hayes-Wilkins School
was rebuilt and Thomas Annex enlarged.
This institution has for years been a center
radiating the spirit of Jesus Christ through
out all the surrounding sections. Mrs. Julia
Gaither spent fourteen years in this institu
tion, and as one of the main results of her
service many Bible women have gone out to
THE FIRST MISSION FIELDS. 63
do work among their own people. In 1916
Miss Irene King became head of the school
and was later succeeded by Miss Mary Culler
Susan B. Wilson School.
Miss Alice Waters, who was in charge of
the day school in Sungkiang, saw the need for
a boarding school at that point and in 1903
secured permission from the Woman's Board
for its beginning. The school was opened
in rented quarters, but soon the Baltimore
Conference came again to the rescue and con
tributed money for a new building, which
bore the name Susan B. Wilson, in honor of
the wife of Bishop Wilson. The building was
dedicated in 1907 by Bishop Wilson, Mrs.
Wilson and Dr. Lambuth taking part in the
dedicatory exercises. The growth of the
school soon demanded an addition, which was
promptly made possible by the generosity of
the Baltimore Conference. A kindergarten
school was developed, and the building for
this was supplied through the liberality of
Mrs. George Bearing, of Louisville, Ky. This
fund was supplemented by the gift of Mrs.
Sallie Rushing, of Memphis.
64 WOMEN AND MISSIONS.
The Virginia School.
It will be recalled that Miss Rankin and
her coworker, Miss Coffey, were appointed
to Huchow when the work in Nanziang was
closed. They brought with them some of their
former pupils as workers. At first, when
Miss Rankin tried to rent a building in which
to open a school, none was found available;
either the buildings were too dilapidated or the
rent too high. However, the undaunted pio
neer of the Woman's Board soon won her way,
and the people began to make overtures.
The Virginia Conference had already pro
vided money for a boarding school, so in 1901
the Virginia School opened with thirty pupils,
the success being marked from the very first.
Miss Coffey was at the head of the school for
three years. She was succeeded by Miss Mil
dred Bomar, whose vision and untiring ef
forts placed the institution in the rank with
our best mission schools. A new building
was soon erected, one of the most beautiful
owned by the Board. The Tennessee Home,
the gift of Tennessee women, was built as a
residence for the missionaries. When Miss
THE FIRST MISSION FIELDS. 65
Bomar was appointed to Bible woman's work,
she was succeeded by Miss Clara Steger.
After the opening of the Virginia School
Miss Rankin turned her attention to the de
velopment of day schools in the city of Hu-
chow. The Memphis School, so named be
cause of the liberality of Miss Rankin's own
Conference, was a day school, and yet many
of its pupils came from the surrounding dis
tricts and were provided lodging outside the
building. This school for boys was still in
charge of Miss Rankin in 1920.
The Virgina Primary School No. I, at
Northgate, the Virginia Primary School No.
2, at Zaung Ka, and the kindergarten were es
tablished as the result of Miss Rankin's ef
forts, but were later put in charge of Miss
Mittie Shelton and made feeders to the Vir
It has been the policy of the woman's work
to carry on day schools in all the cities where
the boarding schools are located, thus making
them a feeder to the higher grades. In addi
tion to these, day schools have been opened in
nearly all of the outstations. While many of
them have not been well graded or adequately
equipped, still the benefits have been untold.
66 WOMEN AND MISSIONS.
In nearly every case evangelistic work result
ed in the establishment of schools.
West Soochow Boys' School.
One of the most interesting and fruitful of
these day schools was located at West Soo
chow. Miss Mary Tarrant, its principal and
the source of its power, writes of its origin
Twenty-five years ago, coming two miles across the
city every day, Miss Atkinson superintended some little
day schools for boys in West Soochow. The idea of
educating their girls had not yet taken hold of the peo
ple. The course of study was not extensive. The
much-revered Chinese classics, which the boys learned
by heart, swaying their bodies from side to side as they
sang out the characters, composed a large part of the
course. Bible stories and catechisms were taught the
children and as much arithmetic and geography as their
classic-bound little minds would receive. It was hard,
too, to find suitable textbooks. The trips across the
city were very unsatisfactory, and so a Chinese house
was rented, and Miss Atkinson gathered her day schools
together in one place, where she could live and watch
them. English was added to the course for a very
nominal charge. This kept parents from taking boys
out of school and putting them to learn a trade as soon
as they were beginning to understand Christianity. A
number of boys united with the Church, some of whom
are now teachers in our schools and stewards in the
Church. As Miss Atkinson's work increased in other
quarters, these day schools were turned over to me.
About that time China began to appreciate the impor-
THE FIRST MISSION FIELDS. 67
tance of Western education. The lessons she learned
after the Boxer uprising were not in vain. The return
of the Boxer indemnity money to her by the United
States for the education of students in America stirred
up the government to improve education in China. A
government course of study, according to grades, was
published. Our day schools, which had never been regu
larly graded, we tried to bring into line. Instead of
considering them as separate schools for boys of dif
ferent ages, we rearranged the schools and made three
departments according to the government plan, corre
lating the three under the name Anglo-Chinese Acade
my. These departments, which still have the names
of the home supporters, are : The McKendree Lower
Primary Department, the Waco District Higher Pri
mary Department, and the Galloway Middle School.
This school meets a need in our West Soochow Church.
It makes possible a Christian education for the sons
of the Church members. If they are not able to pay
the full rate of tuition, they are helped by scholarships.
A small part of this money the boys pay back to the
school when they go to work. There are one hundred
and twenty-two pupils enrolled this fall (1918.) There
are forty-five Christians and thirty-three probationers.
The majority of those who have not yet made any pro
fession are in the primary departments.
The Sallie Stewart School.
About the time that Miss Atkinson moved
the West Soochow day schools into one big
house, a little day school for girls was opened
near by. This school, called the Sallie Stew
art, developed with the years into two depart-
68 WOMEN AND MISSIONS.
ments, a lower and a higher primary. Later
it became a part of the Davidson Memorial.
Two day schools and evangelistic centers
were opened in Changchow in 1908, the one
at North Gate by Miss Ella Leverett and the
other at East Gate by Miss Ida Anderson. The
North Gate work was conducted in a Chi
nese house in which Miss Leverett lived.
Speaking of this house, she says: "It is quite
easy to spread abroad on the right hand and
on the left, and so we have spread as the old
tent filled." Of the character of the school
work which had been developed, Miss Leverett
writes in 1914:
There is an eight-year course in this school, and
Chinese is stressed rather than English. The school
has grown wonderfully, and arrangements have been
made to accommodate a few other pupils, for we can
not stop, since the tide is pushing us on with such
force. The schools in Changchow shape their course
by ours, follow us in many respects, and look to us for
help. Some of them have even asked me to help them
by teaching their girls to sing. A day school such as
we are trying to make ours is obliged to wield a great
influence for good in the city. The girls go home
every night with their Bibles, songbooks, and Chris
tian teachings of the day, and this is bound to impress
the family. God is blessing us and our pupils, and we
are happy in the work.
THE FIRST MISSION FIELDS. 69
The day school at East Gate was opened in
an old ancestral hall, which the artistic taste
of Miss Anderson transformed into a most
attractive room. Adjoining this hall was a
famous temple of a war god, which, through
the influence of the missionaries, was allowed
to be used for evangelistic services.
Humbert Home, named for Mrs. J. W.
Humbert, for years Corresponding Secretary
of the South Carolina Conference Society, was
erected in 1916 for the missionaries' residence.
This was the first foreign house built in Chang-
chow. It proved to be a great attraction to
the people, and soon became a social and evan
gelistic center. In 1914 Miss Anderson writes
of her day school:
The school has grown steadily, until now we have
about sixty pupils. We have no dividing line between
the evangelistic work and the school. Most of our
women probationers are from the homes of our girls.
These homes are open to the Bible women ; and as each
of these workers has a Bible or singing or industrial
class in the school, they are welcomed in the homes as
their children's teachers, and so there are points of
contact. The girls not only attend Sunday school and
Church services, but many of them elect to come in the
afternoons to teach in the two Sunday schools for the
children who do not attend our day schools.
70 W OMEN AND MISSIONS.
As the years passed and the mission work
of the denominations grew in China, a need
was felt for Christian colleges for women.
In response to this demand definite steps were
taken in 1911 for the establishment of a
union woman's college at Nanking. This in
stitution came to be known as Ginling College.
In its building and maintenance the women
of Southern Methodism were responsible for
a one-fifth share.
In 1912 a union Bible school was es
tablished in Nanking, supported by the mis
sion boards of the Northern and Southern
Presbyterians, the Baptists, the Friends,
the Methodist Episcopal, and the Woman's
Missionary Council of the Methodist Episco
pal Church, South. This school soon came
to be the most highly specialized training cen
ter for Christian workers in China. Miss Ruth
Brittain, our capable and efficient representa
tive in her report of 1919 says of the insti
THE FIRST MISSION FIELDS. 71
In 1919 a class of eight young women was graduated.
There are now thirty-five graduates at work in the
provinces of Fukien, Chekiang, and Kiangsu. Fifteen
are evangelists, and ten are teachers in Bible schools.
This fall thirty-four boarders and three day students
enrolled. They represent ten provinces and fourteen
denominations. They came from thirty-one schools.
The Southern Methodists have three students, two from
Laura Haygood and one from McTyeire.
Our greatest need is a new building, to which the
cooperating boards gave their $5,000 shares. The plans
are being pushed forward, and we hope for their ma
terialization in the near future.
From the very beginning, the work of our
schools in China was made truly evangelistic ;
but it was not until 1909 that the Woman's
Board appointed missionaries who should give
their entire time to evangelistic work. It was
in that year that Miss Mary Culler White was
appointed to the Mary Black Hospital and out-
stations for evangelistic service. In the hos
pital she had three or four Bible women who
gave full time and a number of helpers who
were delegated to work in the city and coun
try. Some years more than 8,500 patients
were received into the hospital. A patient was
usually accompanied by two or three attend
ants, thus making about 30,000 people who
went in and out of the doors of the hospital.
72 WOMEN AND MISSIONS.
This gave great possibilities for personal
In 1910 all the mission boards of China
began to place new emphasis upon, evangelis
tic work, and this opened up new opportuni
ties for our evangelistic workers. The names
of Mrs. Gaither, Misses Tarrant, Bomar, Wa
ters, King, Anderson, Leverett, Rogers,
Wales, Combs, and Bliler are numbered among
those who gave time and service to strictly
evangelistic work. These missionaries, togeth
er with scores of Bible women trained as work
ers and helpers, have taught the gospel of Je
sus in public meetings and in personal work
until thousands have been added to the Church
es through their efforts.
One of the most certain signs of the suc
cess of the gospel in China was the organ
ization of a Woman's Missionary Society in
1916. In 1920 there were forty-one auxili
aries with a total membership of 1,514. So
cieties numbering fifty or sixty members were
not uncommon, these members often coming
for miles to attend their meetings. At that
time young people's auxiliaries had also been
organized in most of the mission schools.
THE FIRST MISSION FIELDS.
The report of 1920 showed that the total
receipts of that year were $1,315.91. From
this amount $768.25 went to the support of
the mission in Yun-nan Province and $109.76
to the Woman's Missionary Council for the
work in Africa. A large part of this money
was raised by life certificates, the life certi
ficate having made a special appeal to the Chi
nese women as a substitute for some of the
practices connected with ancestral worship.
A report of the third annual meeting of the
China Mission Conference says:
The third annual meeting of the China Mission Con
ference Woman's Missionary Society was held in Sung-
kiang April 21-25. Eleven Conference officers and
sixty-four delegates were in attendance. The total
number of auxiliaries in the Conference was forty-one,
and thirty-five of these had delegates at the annual
meeting. Besides the delegates, there were forty-five
visitors attending the Conference, who came at their
own expense for the privilege of attending the Con
ference to listen and learn.
A good program of inspirational addresses, stere-
opticon addresses, and departmental drills had been ar
ranged, and this was interspersed with business which
was conducted in a parliamentary manner. Mrs. K. T.
Yang, the President, presided with quiet dignity, and
she was ably assisted by an enthusiastic corps of officers.
All of the officers were Chinese, and their enthusiasm
grew with their growing knowledge of the work. This
year there was a distinct advance due to the return of
74 WOMEN AND MISSIONS.
Mrs. Tsiang and her report of the work of the Mis
sionary Council and the local auxiliaries in America.
Mrs. Tsiang attended the annual meeting
of the Woman's Missionary Council in 1919,
she being the first representative from the na
tive peoples of the mission field who ever sat
as a delegate in the governing body of one
of the woman's missionary organizations of
the Methodist Episcopal Church, South.
LIGHTING THE TORCH IN KOREA.
As the work in China grew and was
crowned with success, the missionary force
began to lift its eyes unto other fields. The
General Board of Missions had opened work
in Seoul, Korea, in 1896, and the Woman's
Board of Foreign Missions followed in 1897.
Since 1887 Mrs. J. P. Campbell had served in
China, working in turn as music teacher,
schoolroom principal, assistant in the hospi
tal (for a time in full charge), and as evan
gelistic worker among women. When the call
came from the Woman's Board to pioneer
work in Korea she responded gladly, taking
with her an adopted Chinese daughter, Miss
Dora Yui. They lived for a time in the home
of Dr. C. F. Reid. Miss Yui soon learned the
Korean language, and she and Dr. Reid took
turns at holding Sunday services in Mrs.
Reid's parlor. When Mr. Collier was trans
ferred to Songdo, Mrs. Campbell and Miss
;6 WOMEN AND MISSIONS.
Yui moved into the house which he had oc
cupied in Seoul, remaining there for one year.
At the end of that time the Baptist Mission,
located in the northern part of Seoul, was
withdrawing, and Mrs. Campbell, seeing that
her present work was overlapping with that
of the Methodist Episcopal Church, purchased
the Baptist property, which was located one
mile from the General Board compound. It
was necessary to act before authorization
could be secured from her home Board, so she
made the purchase at her own risk. Her
faith was rewarded and, as in China, so in
Korea, the first mission center w^as made pos
sible through the gift of \vedding diamonds.
This time Mrs. Toberman, of Los Angeles,
was the giver. The Baptists left the house on
Saturday evening, August I, 1898, and Mrs.
Campbell, in company with a Korean woman
carrying only a few necessary articles, went
over to occupy it at once in order to save the
property from possible damage. Miss Yui
came on Sunday writh a fresh supply of food,
and they moved in on Monday. The main
building was a finely constructed Korean resi-
LIGHTING THE TORCH IN KOREA. 77
dence, having been built for the Minister of
Finance. There were other houses on the
place, which were renovated for school pur
poses. A small dispensary was first opened,
which was financed by Mrs. Campbell herself.
The real work, however, was begun in October,
when the school was opened with three pupils.
Mrs. Campbell writes:
It was not long before we had twenty-one pupils ;
these, however, were the children of the serving class
only, those who were not wanted in the homes where
their parents served. The very first pupil to enter our
school was the little daughter of Dr. Reid's gateman,
who later became one of the best and most intelligent
Bible women in the mission.
The women of Korea for five hunc'red years had
been denied education and any knowledge of the out
side world. They were, of course, prejudiced against
mission schools, but were not long in seeing that this
educated lower class of girls would soon be the su
perior women mentally. Because of this they gradually
decided to enter the school and study side by side with
the girls of the lower class.
The school was of course primary, but, even so, re
quired all of the inventive genius of the missionaries
to devise ways and means to impart knowledge with
out equipment. The Catechism and portions of the
New Testament had been translated into the Korean
vernacular ; except for these there were no Western
books available. The difficulty was overcome by plac
ing the lesson on the blackboard and having it copied
fS WOMEN AND MISSIONS.
on sheets Oi paper, a copy for each child, thus forming
In a few years the school was full to over
flowing, and several adjoining houses were
purchased and new ones erected. There were
no architects in Seoul and the men of the
mission were rushed with their own work, so
it devolved upon Mrs. Campbell and a Korean
carpenter, who had never constructed any but
mud cottages, to build a new eight-room, two-
story, brick house. Mrs. Campbell says of
The amusing incidents connected with this building
and its construction would be a fit subject for a comedy
en the screen. The palace towers were immediately in
front of the school property, and superstition caused
the emperor to believe that the misfortunes befalling
his empire were caused by the presence of the Western
ers. This two-story house, he thought, offended the
gods of the air. Women attendants from the palace
called in style and insisted upon looking from the upper
story windows, their object evidently being to peer
within the palace walls.
The Sunday services were conducted in the
rooms of this house until the chapel was
built within the walls of the school compound.
These were a great contrast to the demon
worship carried on in the district. In 1899
.Bishop Wilson baptized seven women in the
LIGHTING THE TORCH IN KOREA. 79
Cha-kol home parlor. (Cha-kol was the name
of the district in the northern section of the
city, and the school compound was called the
Cha-kol compound.) These seven women
were the direct result of the woman's work
and the nucleus of a new Church. In 1910
this Church numbered five hundred converts
from heathenism. The Sunday before Mrs.
Campbell left for America, in 1910, ninety
were baptized at the morning service.
When the Russo-Japanese War broke out,
United States ministers ordered all the mis
sionaries to Seoul, where they were to remain
until peace was established. Mrs. Campbell
placed her school in the hands of the five
workers then on the field and returned to the
United States, where she helped in securing
money to build a home in Songdo and to add
to the property in Seoul. The school had at
that time increased to an enrollment of sev
enty-eight dormitory pupils and a number of
The location, however, was not satisfactory,
as it was too near the canal. In 1907, there
fore, a lot was purchased on a hill command
ing a view of the city ; and several years later
a home for missionaries, a dormitory for a
8o WOMEN AND MISSIONS.
limited number of boarders, and a day school
were built. In 1916 Miss Lillian Nichols was
placed in charge. Miss Ida Hankins and Miss
Bertha Smith, each in turn, served as princi
pal. Like the other schools of the Council,
Carolina Institute made a strong impression
upon the life of Korea; but the tragedy of the
revolution in 1919 greatly endangered the
work. Because of the Student Self-Determi-
nation Movement, schools were opened and
closed again and again during that year and
the year following. It was a period of heavy
strain and extreme anxiety for the mission
aries, but their efforts to redeem and give to
Korea the liberty and redemption of Jesus
Christ never ceased.
Union Bible School.
The plans of the Council for enlargement
of the work went forward in the face of all
the difficulties, one of the most far-reaching
being that of the Union Bible Training School
in Seoul. The Methodist Episcopal Church
was just completing a beautiful Bible school
building, and at the meeting of the Council
in 1920, it was voted to enter with them into
a union plan upon a fifty-fifty basis in build-
LIGHTING THE TORCH IN KOREA. 8l
ing, equipment, and workers. This was made
possible through Centenary funds.
Hoist on Institute.
In 1899 Miss Fannie Hinds and Miss Ar-
rena Carroll were transferred from Mrs.
Campbell's school to take charge of woman's
work in Songdo. These missionaries had a
bedroom each and, in addition, a kitchen and
dining room. Class after class, numbering
between fifty and sixty women, met in these
bedrooms all during the day. Later, day
schools for boys were opened in both the
north and south wards of the city. The story
of the establishment of the girls' school is
especially interesting. One day, when the mis
sionaries were away attending a meeting, the
Christian Koreans were having a picnic, at
which time it was suggested that a school for
girls was needed. A collection was accordingly
taken, and a sufficient amount of money to
pay a needed teacher for three months was
handed over to the missionaries when they
returned. As a result, in 1903, a school with
a few pupils in attendance was opened in a
Korean building, and one of Mrs. Campbell's
82 WOMEN AND MISSIONS.
best pupils from Seoul was employed as teach
In 1905 a boarding school was opened in a
conventional Korean house which, according
to Korean custom, was placed near the foot
of the hill. Like all Korean houses, the par
titions were constructed of paper and could
easily be removed. A sufficient number of
partitions was taken out to form a room
twenty-four by eight feet. For the accommo
dation of the girls, heavy comforts were
placed on the floor for sleeping purposes, and
this apartment became the sleeping room for
twenty-six girls. In the morning the bedding
was aired, rolled up, and placed in an adjoin
ing room. The sleeping apartment then
became a breakfast room. At the close of
the meal, the tables were removed and the
same room became a recitation room. Thus,
it is seen, that this one apartment served in
turn as dormitory, dining room, and school
In 1907 a gift was made by Dr. Staley, of
Bristol, Tenn., which made possible the erec
tion of a new building. The school was named
Holston Institute because of this gift from the
Holston Conference. The building was a
handsome gray stone structure located on a
LIGHTING THE TORCH IN KOREA. 83
commanding hill in the center of the city.
When this location was purchased one of the
wealthiest Korean men in the city called on
Mrs. Campbell, telling her jestingly that she
had secured the most notorious devil-worship
ing site in Korea, that the demons would
keep things so lively that it would frighten the
children away. She replied that it would be a
fine opportunity to prove the omnipotence of
God, for he always vindicates the cause of
those who trust him.
The school soon became so crowded that a
primary building was added in 1918. The
next addition was that of a social-religious
building, which became a necessity because of
the Japanese laws excluding religious teach
ings in the schools. The money for this was
raised by the South Carolina women and
named the Wightman Humbert Chapel. Miss
Mabel Howell, Executive Secretary of Ori
ental Fields, after her visit to Korea, said of
Holston Institute, in Songdo, with its six hundred
girls before the revolution, stands at the head of the
Council's educational system in Korea. It is a splen
did school. As soon as possible the high-school de
partment should be developed, and possibly a normal
or kindergarten training school added. Miss Wagner
has been a wise leader in this work through the years.
84 WOMEN AND MISSIONS.
Because of home conditions, the Principal,
Miss Ella Sue Wagner, was compelled to re
turn to the United States in 1920. The year
previous, because of the revolution and the
suffering of the Korean people, had been one
of trial and tragedy. In her report of that
year Miss Wagner says :
Until March 1, the Higher Common School flour
ished, and the work of the students and teachers was
most satisfactory. Then suddenly and without warn
ing the Independence Movement struck the country like
a hurricane, and we found ourselves in the midst of
trouble and confusion. Since that time the primary
and kindergarten schools have been continued as usual,
but for the past six months the higher work has been
closed and the girls sent to their homes.
The Mary Helm School.
The Mary Helm School, opened in 1907,
is unique in that it was established for young
widows of the higher class who had ambi
tions to attain lives of usefulness and yet
were too old to enter the primary school with
children, their ages varying from fourteen to
eighteen. Three of these young girls made
an appeal to Baron Yun and, as a result,
Mrs. Cram, the wife of W. G. Cram, mission
ary under appointment of the General Board,
LIGHTING THE TORCH IN KOREA. 85
opened a school in her own home. The teach
ing was done at night because of the custom
which prohibited the girls from appearing on
the street in the day time. After a time a
home was secured in which a number of the
pupils lived, buying their own food and doing
their own work. The school continued to be
taught in Mrs. Cram's sitting room until the
Crams moved into their new home, at which
time a place was provided for the purpose.
The work was begun without funds, but
when Mrs. Truehart made an appeal there
were numbers of responses, among them a
contribution from Miss Bennett which came
with the suggestion that the school bear the
namQ of Miss Mary Helm, former Editor of
Our Homes. In 1909 the school was trans
ferred to the compound of the Holston In
stitute and placed under the management of
the missionaries. It was later renamed the
Mary Helm Industrial Department of Holston
Institute, the change being made to meet
Japanese regulations. At first it was con
ducted in a Korean building, the same room
being used for both bedroom and classroom
purposes. In 1914, however, a better build
ing was provided.
86 WOMEN AND MISSIONS.
Lucy Cuninggim Industrial School.
In 1901 Miss Carroll and Miss Knowles
were appointed to open work in Wonsan,
property having been purchased from the
Methodist Episcopal Church. It took them
just one week to cross the country in Korean
sedan chairs. One can imagine the hardship
of riding, day after day, in the uncomfortable
position of sitting on one's feet. The prop
erty in which the school at Wonsan was be
gun was attractive and beautiful, but it was
necessary to build dormitories before the work
could be made effective. The North Carolina
Conference women contributed their thank
offering to this enlargement and gave to the
school the name Lucy Cuninggim in mem
ory of one of their honored workers. The
school prospered and soon outgrew its quar
ters. Because of its distance from the church
it was later deemed wise to move to another
part of the city. A beautiful location near
the church was selected, and a home for the
missionaries and a building for the school
were erected. The South Georgia Conference
furnished the money, but the school retained
its original name. In 1917 the enrollment
LIGHTING THE TORCH IN KOREA. 87
numbered 127 and the seven branches, or
county schools, numbered 132, making a total
enrollment of 269.
In 1917 the plan of the work was changed.
The principal, Miss Hallie Buie, writes:
The greatest change in our work this year has been
that of giving up the advanced grades of the Lucy
Cuninggim Girls' School, in Wonsan, and of establish
ing the industrial school for girls and women in its
stead. When one sees the life of drudgery and help
lessness led by most of the women and girls in Korea,
the need of a school that will teach them something
whereby they can earn their own living and be self-
respecting and independent is keenly felt. In the fall
of 1916, at our annual mission meeting, it was decided
that, if the Council so granted, the Lucy Cuninggim
Girls' School building in Wonsan be used for a mis
sion industrial school for girls and women and that
the girls in the high-school department in Wonsan be
sent to Holston Institute, in Songdo. This decision met
with the approval of Misses Bennett and Head, who
were then on the field.
In the spring of 1917 a committee was appointed to
investigate the situation and to determine just what
kind of an industrial school we should have. The
committee, after thorough investigation, unanimously
came to the following conclusions: (1) That at first
only one line of work should be undertaken and that
we proceed to make the training in that line as efficient
as possible ; (2) that said line should be one that would
be a benefit to the women of the whole territory occu
pied by our mission; (3) That it should be a line that
would assure us the support and confidence of the gov
ernment as well as one that would be in harmony with
88 WOMEN AND MISSIONS.
their plans for the development of the Korean people.
We decided that nothing would so nearly satisfy the
position set forth in the above three principles as seri
culture. As soon as these three plans were indorsed
by the Council, steps were taken to carry them out.
In March, 1918, the mulberry trees were all planted
and are growing beautifully. The school was opened
in April, 1918, and we soon had an enrollment of twenty
pupils. The forenoons are spent in study and the after
noons in work. The literary work is divided into three
grades, with a special or preparatory year for the ones
who have had very little chance to study. The indus
trial work is also divided into a course of three years.
The newly organized school ran only a few
months, however, and was closed on account
of the revolution. Concerning the future
Miss Howell says:
There is a very great field for industrial education
in Korea, and this institution needs special care. The
greatest need, and an immediate one. is a missionary
trained along textile lines. Such a one must be found
and trained if necessary.
The Alice Cobb Bible School.
The Alice Cobb Bible School was located
on the same compound with the Lucy Cun-
inggim. The building, furnished by the
South Georgia Conference and named in hon
or of Mrs. Cobb, at one time Foreign Depart
ment Secretary of the Council, was construct
ed in simple Korean style, but appropriate to
LIGHTING THE TORCH IN KOREA. 89
the purpose for which it was designed. Be
fore the building was erected the nucleus of
the school had been formed by the little band
of women who were taught by Mrs. J. B.
Ross, formerly Miss Knowles, a missionary
under appointment, in her own home. Miss
Kate Cooper, principal of the Alice Cobb Bi
ble School, says of the institution:
The winter months I spend in Bible institute work,
which is always a joy, for I love to teach the Bible.
We work together with the Canadian Presbyterians in
Wonsan, and the missionaries who give their time to
the institute are splendid Bible teachers. One course
covers five years of three months each. Thirty-three
books of the Bible we teach in full and the other half
by outlines. During the time the women are not study
ing they have an intermediate reading course, which
consists of the books of the Bible they are to take the
following term in outlines. Besides the Bible, we teach
writing, hygiene, simple geography, arithmetic, and
singing. We have weekly lectures from Korean pas
tors and missionaries -on missions, Church history, and
other helpful subjects. In 1918 we had an enrollment
of fifty-one, nine of whom were graduated in April.
It is a rule of our mission that our Bible women must
graduate from the institute before they can be accepted
as fully qualified Bible women. Some of the women
leaders in the country Churches are those who have
studied at our institute. It is our aim to have at least
one woman from each Church to study and go back
to her own congregation to take charge of the Bible
90 WOMEN AND MISSIONS.
The great revival which broke out in Korea
in 1904 is of special interest to the women of
Southern Methodism because of its origin.
Miss Knowles went to Korea filled with a burn
ing zeal for the Master's work. She felt in
starting her work in Wonsan that they, as mis
sionaries, were not able to grasp the great
spiritual privileges which were before them.
She and others formed a compact to pray
daily that God would give the missionaries
power to bring about a great revival. Dr.
Hardy was asked to lead the missionaries of
Wonsan in a week of Bible study. As he
prepared for this work, a deep conviction of
his own need overpowered him and he spent
one whole night on his knees in prayer. At
early dawn there came to him a great blessing
and he arose from his knees filled with a new
power, which was recognized by all who met
him that morning. He rang the chapel "bell
and called the Korean Christians together,
telling them of the night's experience, con
fessing his own former lack of power. Those
present, grasping his meaning, saw the empti
ness of their own lives and prayed for forgive
ness. Days of prayer and confession followed.
Finally there came upon them such a bap-
LIGHTING THE TORCH IN KOREA. 91
tism of power that they went forth from piace
to place and led others into the same experi
ence. The revival swept throughout the
Church in Korea and thousands were con
The revival spirit in Korea made the wom
an's evangelistic work one of the most suc
cessful features of the mission. In Seoul
much of this work was done in connection
with the Churches, and under the wise lead
ership of Mrs. Campbell and Miss Mamie
Myers it took on many institutional features.
Out from Songdo, the greatest Southern Meth
odist center in Korea, there radiated into the
country districts a great spirit of evangelism.
One of the most successful evangelistic ef
forts was carried on in Choon Chun. This
work was opened in 1911 by Miss Laura Ed
wards and Miss Alice Dean Noyes. Their
first trip into this district, which required
three days, was made on pack horses. All their
bedding, food, cooking utensils, and cloth
ing went to make up the packs, which they
carried with them. The rural evangelistic
work was conducted on the circuit plan, each
missionary caring for a certain number of
charges and the Bible women going out two
92 WOMEN AND MISSIONS.
From the very beginning, a strong emphasis
was placed upon rural evangelistic work, while
the schools received the emphasis in the great
city centers. When Miss Howell visited the
field in 1919-20 she urged an immediate for
ward movement in city evangelism in Songdo,
Seoul, and Wonsan. City centers had been
contemplated for a number of years, and at the
Council meeting in 1920 Centenary askings
were made available to go forward with these
buildings in Seoul and Songdo. Provision
was also made for the purchase of land in
Wonsan upon which a building was to be erect
ed in the near future.
WOMAN'S MISSIONARY SOCIETY.
One of the most hopeful results of the mis
sionary work in Korea was evidenced by the
organization of missionary societies in the na
tive Churches. The Bible women, as they
itinerated from place to place, gave these so
cieties special attention. Special programs
were prepared each year by some one of the
missionaries. Most of the society members
tithed or gave systematically. One-tenth of
all their collections went to the work in Africa
and the rest of the money was used for the
support of native Bible women in the heathen
LIGHTING THE TORCH IN KOREA. 93
villages of Korea. The following is a letter
sent by the women of the Wonsan District to
the Woman's Missionary Society in Africa:
WONSAN, KOREA, April 5, 1920.
To the Friends of the Woman's Missionary Society in
Africa — Greetings from the Woman's Missionary So
ciety in Wonsan, Korea.
We, the servants of Jesus Christ, according to the
will of God, from our District Society in Hamkyung
South Province, Wonsan, Korea, send to all the saints
in Africa, even to all who are in Christ Jesus, our
heartiest greetings with the hope that you have received
from God, the Father, and his Son, Jesus Christ, the
grace and peace he has promised to all who are faith
ful, and that your hope is founded on an eternal foun
dation, and that your soul has found eternal salvation.
With the wish that you may sing the everlasting songs
and praise God through all eternity we, even though
we are separated from you by miles and miles, pray
for you and feel that Christ is hearing and answering
in your behalf.
Our Saviour, Jesus Christ, came into this world
nineteen hundred and twenty years ago and gave him
self once to die on the cress for the sins of all the
world. Thus bearing the sins of all mankind, he made
all who believe on him to become the children of the
Holy God, and to all the saints alike he pours forth
his Holy Spirit in order that they may have the power
to do his will. Following the example of our Lord,
we, too, should love with all our hearts, soul, and
strength and serve our God as he directs. Let us give
all we have to him and love him with all our hearts.
Like Peter and John, even though we have not the
gold and silver to give in the name of Jesus Christ,
94 WOMEN AND MISSIONS.
we can do many deeds of mercy. As a result of the
Centenary Movement at this time the work of the Lord
is daily growing in strength, and the faith of many is
becoming stronger. Also patience, temperance, brother
ly love, and unity are increasing in force. For all this
we cannot give thanks enough.
But notwithstanding all the joys and blessings that
God so freely bestows here in Korea, we are under
going a severe trial, and to all of you who love us we
earnestly beseech that you will pray unceasingly to the
Father of light, who is altogether just and holy. We
hope you will pray much and often, for we need your
prayers. Like the precious stones hidden away in the
mountains that you have to polish for the brilliant
colors to appear and like the trees that grow better for
the pruning, God means that all our trials shall work
together for good, and he is now refining us that his
glory may appear.
Although we are sending only the small amount of
$11.93, we hope you will receive it in love and use it
as our Lord Jesus Christ may direct.
If we look at the world, there is so much sorrow on
every hand ; but if we endure as seeing Him who is
invisible, we shall bring forth the fruits of righteous
ness and peace. Our hope is in the Captain of our
salvation, who is also the Author and Finisher of our
We pray for you that you may bring many of your
African sisters to Jesus Christ and that they may re
ceive the crown of life which Jesus has promised to
all who are true and faithful. This is our prayer for
you, so we will close with this message for this time.
(MRS.) CHASUN KIM, FOR THE WONSAN DISTRICT MIS
IN 1885 the General Board of Missions
passed a resolution authorizing the establish
ment of a mission in Japan. In July of the
following year Dr. and Mrs. J. W. Lambuth
and Dr. O. A. Dukes arrived in Kobe. Miss
Maud Bonnell says of this adventure: "It
took hearts made brave by long years of serv
ice in China to turn to a new country, where
the people and the language were wholly un
known. 'Go ye into all the world and preach
the gospel to the whole creation' must have
sounded in their ears and nerved them to the
new undertaking." The territory chosen for
this task comprised the ten provinces bordering
on the Inland Sea and on the three islands of
Hondo, Shikoku, and Kyushu, which, in the
census of 1909, had a population of approxi
mately 13,000,000. Upon landing in Kobe
the missonaries made their home at No. 47 in
the foreign concession and began their work
by teaching English to a few Japanese boys
in a night school.
96 WOMEN AND MISSIONS.
Mrs. Lambuth, who had pioneered woman's
work in China, undertook with the same tire
less devotion and energy to open the way for
the women in Japan. That hers was no easy
task is shown by these words from her son,
Bishop J. W. Lambuth:
There were no women who seemed to be accessible,
and it was months before any Japanese woman united
with the Church. A male cook, who was a Congrega-
tionalist, led the morning prayer in the family circle
until the new missionaries had acquired the language.
One of his petitions, which he made daily, was : "O
Lord, have mercy on these poor Methodists and enlarge
their borders, for they have no women in their mem
In the year following her arrival in Kobe,
Mrs. Lambuth opened a day school for women
with eleven in attendance. She also organized
a weekly class for women and children. Three
years later, in 1890, the Japan Mission passed
a resolution calling for the establishment of a
Bible school in Kobe. In accordance with this
action, the Woman's Bible Training School
was opened in 1891 with six pupils in at
tendance. Mrs. Lambuth had supervision, but
Miss May Bice (later Mrs. W. A. Davis)
was placed in charge. The records show that
the few years which followed were filled with
ANOTHER CALL. 97
difficulties, the school even being closed a part
of the time.
On the same compound with the Bible
school, Mrs. Lambuth opened three other
schools — namely, Industrial School, where
women were taught embroidery, sewing, mu
sic, and the Bible; Kobe Institute, where the
children of Asiatic and European parentage
were taught; and Palmore Institute, which
was a night school for women. In 1899 the
Industrial School was closed, and in 1905
Kobe Institute also was closed, both for lack
of teachers. Palmore Institute was continued,
however, but in 1907 was provided with quar
ters of its own. Thus the compound was left
free for the use of the Bible school.
In 1899 Miss Ida Worth was made Prin
cipal and continued in this position until 1905.
She was succeeded by Miss Maud Bonnell,
who remained at the head of the institution
for ten years. Her strong personality and
her great spiritual power made these years
count large for the kingdom of righteousness
The early evangelistic work for women in
Japan consisted of special evangelistic serv
ices, Bible classes, mothers' meetings, cooking
classes, English and industrial classes, Sun-
98 WOMEN AND MISSIONS.
day schools, and kindergartens. The women
who could give their entire time were so few
that the services of the missionaries' wives
and the teachers in the schools were a neces
sity. These sought contact with the women
of Japan through every possible avenue.
In 1891 Miss Kate Harlan, working in
Yamaguchi, Japan, wrote:
We proposed to teach the women anything they
wished to learn — crocheting, knitting, foreign cooking,
English — anything to induce them to come, that we
might have an opportunity to teach them the one thing
of importance, the one thing they need to learn ; but,
alas ! the one thing of which they do not feel their
need, the Word of God, the truth as it is in Christ
Jesus our Lord. They were hard to reach, slow to
come, few in number, and very irregular. Frequently
as soon as one began to take any interest the head of
the house would assert his authority, and she was not
allowed to come any more.
THE WOMAN'S MISSIONARY COUNCIL ENTERS.
The work of the General Board in its other
departments was of the highest rank, but its
woman's work was wholly inadequate. This
is easily understood when we consider the
lack of equipment, the small working force on
the field, and the absence of an administrative
force of women at the home base. On ac
count of this lack the entire mission was being
crippled. The prayer of the cook, "O Lord,
have mercy on these poor Methodists, for they
have no women in their membership," was in
reality still the prayer of many hearts as late
as the year 1914.
The Japan Mission had continued to entreat
the General Board to send out single women
as evangelistic workers, but that year found
only two engaged exclusively in this work.
It was then that the mission unanimously de
cided to ask the Woman's Missionary Council
to enter Japan. Bishop Atkins visited Japan
that year, and the following year, 1915, at
tended the meeting of the Woman's Mission
ary Council, making an eloquent appeal for
the women and children of Japan and pleading
for the Council's entrance into Japan with its
gifts of money and workers and its admin
istrative talents. The result was that the fol
lowing action was taken:
We recommend: 1. That the Woman's Missionary
Council assume the support of the woman's evangelis-
tice work in Japan on condition that the Board of Mis
sions continue its usual appropriation to Fhat field.
2. That the Council recommend two new missionaries
for that field.
Miss Annette Gist and Miss Charlie Hol
land were appointed that same year as mis-
100 WOMEN AND MISSIONS.
sionaries to Japan. Miss Ida Worth, Miss
Maud Bonnell, Miss Nellie Bennett, Miss
Annie Belle Williams, and Miss Ethel New-
comb were transferred from the Board of
Missions, General Work, to the Woman's
Missionary Council. Miss Mabel Whitehead
and Miss Katherine Hatcher were sent out in
1917 and Miss Jean Callahan, Miss Rubie Van
Hooser, and Miss Mary Searcy in 1920.
When the Council entered Japan Miss
Maud Bonnell was still in charge of the Lam-
buth Bible School. The following year, how
ever, she came home on her furlough, much
broken in health, and was never able to return.
Miss Ida Shannon, of the Hiroshima Girls'
School, was made acting principal. Her re
port of that year says:
The first Bible woman was graduated in 1905. Up
to 1915 the school has graduated thirty-seven, of whom
twenty-two are in active service and five are wives of
preachers. The present enrollment is fifteen. The
women stay in the school three years, studying the
Bible and kindred subjects, music, and practical work.
The change that takes place in them during that time
is nothing short of marvelous. After they go out into
service, the chief need is for better and closer super
vision on the part of women missionaries.
In 1917 Miss Annie Belle Williams was
ANOTHER CALL. 101
made principal. In her report of 1919 she
This year has added two to the list of graduates
which before numbered fifty. The opening of another
school year in April brought in six new students, mak
ing our number twelve. The new class was an interest
ing one for several reasons: (1) Not one of them came
from our own missionary territory; (2) they repre
sented four different missions ; and (3) most of them
had had some experience in a professional or business
way, two of them as teachers and one as a nurse. Five
of them are on scholarships. The cost of keeping up
this school seems entirely out of proportion to the
small number of students, but we want you to think
of it as an evangelistic center as well as a school.
Counting our own Sunday schools, we touch ten dif
ferent centers in Kobe and its suburbs.
The 1920 enrollment showed that the num
ber of students had increased to twenty. At
this time enlargement of the school was for
a number of reasons imperative: first, the in
adequacy of the buildings and their unsanitary
condition; second, the movement on foot to
move the kindergarten from Hiroshima to the
Bible school; third, the demand for a union
institution; fourth, the action of the General
Conference of the Methodist Church of Japan
creating a licensed order of women evangelists.
In 1919, when Miss Mabel Howell, Executive
Secretary of the Orient, was on the field, the
J02 WOMEN AND MISSIONS.
Japan Mission passed resolutions asking that
the Council embrace in its plan the training
of kindergarten teachers and that the proposed
new school be located at Osaka. It was also re
quested that the Northern Methodists and the
Canadian Methodists be asked to unite with
the Woman's Missionary Council in the build
ing and conduct of the school in order that
the whole of Japan Methodism might be
served. It was agreed, ^however, that the
building should not be delayed awaiting the
response of the other Methodisms,
In its 1920 session the Council adopted the
(1) That the Council accept the responsibility for
the Kindergarten Normal Training School in Hiro
shima, approve the plan of uniting it with the Lambuth
Memorial School, and establish an enlarged school of
high grade for training Christian workers. (2) That
the enlarged school be located in Osaka and be known
as the Lambuth Training School for Christian Work
ers. (3) That as the Hiroshima Kindergarten Normal
Training School is under the supervision of Miss Mar
garet Cook, the Council request the Board of Missions,
General Work, to release Miss Margaret Cook to the
Council for the purpose of assisting in establishing the
enlarged school proposed for Osaka, and that the Sec
retary of the Orient present this request to the Board
of Missions. (4) That the $8,000 already on the field
for the purchase of land for the new Lambuth Train
ing School and the $18,000 Centenary askings for the
ANOTHER CALL. 103
evangelistic plant at Osaka be combined into one fund
to be used for the building of the new training school.
Further action was taken, transferring an
accrued fund of $4,479.50 already on the field
to the building fund, this amount to be used
for the proposed chapel in the Lambuth Train
ing School to be known as the Maud Bonnell
At the meeting of the Board of Missions
that year the request for the transfer of Miss
Margaret Cook was granted, it being recog
nized that a better policy would be to train
the kindergarten workers and the Bible women
in the same school. Miss Katherine Hatcher,
who had been the Council's representative in
the Hiroshima Training School, was also
transferred. The removal of the Bible school
to Osaka, only one hour's ride by trolley
from Kobe, was decided upon because of
Osaka's being a large industrial city and hence
well suited as a demonstration center.
Concerning the kindergartens and the evan
gelistic centers, Miss Maud Bonnell writes
shortly after they were turned over to the
Woman's Missionary Council by the Board
of Missions, General Work:
There are six kindergarteners in charge of our
women at various points. Three of these are in Kobe,
104 WOMEN AND MISSIONS.
two at Oita and Beppu, and the other is in Yoshida,
on the island of Shikoku. Oita is as yet our only
woman's evangelistic station. Miss Ida M. Worth (St.
Louis Conference) went there in 1896. She began
teaching English and Bible to the young people and
visiting, with her helper, in the homes. Soon she
opened a kindergarten, which has grown steadily in
efficiency and favor. Visits were paid to the outlying
stations, where cooking classes and other women's and
children's meetings were held in the chapels or in rented
rooms. Miss Annie Belle Williams (South Carolina
Conference) went to the station in 1910, and with her
personal helper the force was doubled. Soon a kinder
garten was opened in Beppu, and other Sunday schools
and children's meetings were conducted weekly. Eight
stations were regularly visited. Groups of young
women working in the telephone exchange and in a
yarn factory, where fifteen hundred are employed, have
Because of the lack of sufficient working
force and because of conditions caused by the
World War, the Council was unable to enter
into any greatly enlarged plans. In 1920,
however, the number of kindergartens had in
creased to fifteen, a home for missionaries
had been built at Oita, and the plant itself,
containing a home for native workers, was
being constructed with the first available Cen
tenary money. Plans were being projected
for the building of the new Bible school at
Osaka and for the utilization of the old
buildings in Kobe as a Christian social cen-
ANOTHER CALL. 105
ter. The Centenary askings included a suf
ficient sum of money for the building of evan
gelistic centers in thirteen cities and the sup
port of two missionaries and a number of
Bible women for each of these places. By
action of the Council, in 1920, the evangelis
tic centers were given the name "lan-no-Ie,"
meaning "The House of Comfort and Peace."
WOMAN'S MISSIONARY SOCIETY.
In 1920 Miss Mabel Howell reported con
cerning the Woman's Missionary Society of
Japan as follows:
The women of the West Japan Conference are al
ready organized into a Conference Society. This is the
Conference in which our work is located. The district
and local work is pretty well developed. The two Con
ferences unite their gifts in the support of a mission
ary, Mr. Kihara, in Siberia. The women of the two
Conferences of the Japan Methodist Church are taking
steps to unite organically so as to form one society for
MINISTRY IN LATIN- AMERICAN AND AFRI
Oh, could we love with the love that pours
On this great day through all our doors,
Could we gather all in a world embrace,
Whatever the creed, whatever the race,
Not once, nor twice, but all the time,
For ev'ry need and ev'ry clime
The love that knows all aims as one,
All peoples kin beneath the sun —
What a different world this world would be !
For we should see as the Christ would see,
If only a magic way were found
To make us human the whole year round !
— From "The Whole Year Christmas"
ANOTHER CHALLENGE TO FAITH.
ALMOST simultaneously with the opening of
work in China there began to loom large be
fore the newly organized Woman's Mission
ary Society the urgency of the need in Mexico
and Brazil. Indeed, at the very first meet
ing of the General Executive Association in
1879, there was made a contingent appropria
tion of five hundred dollars for Brazil. The
second annual report of the Corresponding
After much correspondence, it was shown that the
appropriation made last May could be judiciously ap
plied in aiding the school of Miss Newman at Piraci-
This school had been opened the year pre
vious by the daughter of the Rev. J. E. New
man, an appointee of the General Board of
Missions. This same report quotes the fol
lowing from a letter from the field:
Miss Newman's school in Piracicaba has fifteen
pupils — three Americans, one English, and eleven Bra-
110 WOMEN AND MISSIONS.
zilians. Plan — the Rev. J. E. Newman to remain as
ostensible head of the school for protection. Desired
appropriation for school, $1,000. Reasons — we have
an infant mission in Piracicaba under an ex-priest.
If he is faithful, we will have a Church there before
the close of 1880.
At the second annual meeting of /the General
Executive Association of the Woman's Mis
sionary Society one thousand dollars was ap
propriated. The school, however, was sus
pended during that year on account of the
marriage of Miss Annie Newman to Rev. J.
J. Ransom and the failing health of her sis
ter. Mrs. Ransom died within a few months
after her marriage, and the Rev. J. J. Ran
som, returning to this country, plead with the
women of the Executive Committee to send
a missionary at once to reopen the school.
The result was the immediate appointment of
Miss Martha Watts who became the pioneer
representative of the woman's work in Brazil.
She reopened the school in September of
1 88 1 in a rented house of ten rooms. Eight
een desks were purchased, but on the open
ing day only one pupil appeared. The Jesu
its had begun to fear the entrance cf the
Protestants and had pledged fifteen thousand
Collars for the establishment of a girls'
ANOTHER CHALLENGE TO FAITH, m
school. In spite of the discouraging begin
ning, the report of 1883 says:
The Collegio Piracicabano has become an established
fact. It is steadily gaining the favor of the people and
is partly self-sustaining. The corner stone of the new
building was laid on February 8, with imposing cere
monies in which several prominent men of the country
The new building was opened in 1884 with
forty-five pupils. The number soon increased
Miss Watts was to Brazil, in those early
pioneer days, what Miss Haygood was to
China. From the first she had courted the
friendship and influence of Drs. Manuel and
Prudente de Moraes Barros, both of whom
were federal senators. Dr. Prudente later
became President of Brazil. Miss Watts had
adopted in her school the public school meth
ods of the United States; and while Dr. Pru
dente was Governor of the State of Sao Paulo,
Collegio Piracicabano served as his model for
shaping the school system of that State, which
later became the most advanced, educational
ly, throughout Brazil. These leaders not on'y
looked to Miss Watts for counsel and advice,
but were influential in sending the daughters
of the leading families to her to be educated.
112 WOMEN AND MISSIONS.
In time, Collegio Piraciabana outgrew the
beautiful spacious building which had been lo
lated in the center of the town, and to en
large its usefulness the Martha Watts Annex
was built. This building provided an assem
bly room, classrooms, and space for the kin
dergarten school. Miss M. L. Gibson says:
The college and the annex together present the most
imposing structure in the city and is a splendid monu
ment to the woman whose name it bears.
Miss Lily Stradley took charge in 1898,
and through her high aims and ability the
school at Piracicaba has been kept one of the
leading girls' schools in all Brazil. The ef
ficiency of the work and its hold on the peo
ple is set forth in the following from Dr.
Browning, Educational Secretary of the Com
mittee on Latin America:
There is a fine student body. The premises are kept
in beautiful order, and the buildings, modeled after the
old Southern mansions and set back from the street
among palms and other semitropical plants, present a
very pleasing appearance to the passer-by. I visited
a number of the classes and, so far as one can tell from
such a superficial examination, I judge that good work
is being done. The dormitories were clean and well
aired, the beds well made, and the closets full o'f cloth
ing neatly hung in order. A pleasing touch was that
of finding in almost all the beds, especially in the dor-
ANOTHER CHALLENGE TO FAITH. 113
mitory of the small girls, one or more dolls neatly
dressed and seemingly patiently awaiting the return of
the little mothers from the tasks of the day. The
atmosphere of the school was most attractive, the rela
tion between the teacher and the student seeming to
be of the closest and most friendly sort. There is an
air of home life about the entire establishment that
cannot but have a very wholesome influence on the girls
who are preparing to go out from its classes as wives
and mothers or as members of society. There was a
public meeting at night held in the school auditorium
which was attended by the students and teachers as
well as by a considerable number of teachers from the
town. There are in Piracicaba two other very impor
tant institutions — the Normal School, wifh equipment
equal to that of Teacher's College in New York, and
the State Agricultural College, one of the best I have
ever seen as regards equipment and beauty of grounds —
and there was a good attendance from the faculty of
these schools as well as from the townspeople.
Rio DE JANEIRO.
The determined purpose of the women to
establish work in Rio de Janeiro, the capital
city of Brazil, has continued to hold through
out a whole generation amid almost unparal
leled failures and discouragements. In the
report of 1885 we read:
A few words only will suffice in regard to the Rio
College. It must now be generally known that this
college is only a projected though determined institu
tion. The plan is to build up a first-class college for
the girls in Rio de Janeiro, the capital of the empire.
II4 WOMEN AND MISSIONS.
The college must be planned on a broad and liberal
basis, providing a full literary and scientific course
and giving from its incipiency due prominence to
Thirty-five years later we find this school
still a "projected though determined" insti
The following story shows the leading of
God through a series of disappointments and
seeming failures. In 1884 the one-hundredth
anniversary of Methodism was celebrated by
gifts for the extension of the kingdom into
foreign lands. One of the objects selected
by the committee, appointed by the General
Conference, was a college to be located in
Rio de Janeiro for the girls of high-class
families. At the urgency of the committee,
the Woman's Board (at the time only five
years old) ventured to ask the women of the
Church for $50,000 for this purpose. The
General Board promised hearty support and co
operation. The offering proved to be only
$16,229.73, and it was soon discovered that
the "hearty cooperation" on the part of the
General Board did not mean financial aid.
The women were discouraged and wished to
abandon the plan and appropriate the funds
to other work. When Bishop Granbery vis-
ANOTHER CHALLENGE TO FAITH. 115
ited the field in 1887, however, he urged the
women to push forward in spite of the odds
which were against them. In accordance with
his recommendation, Miss Mary Bruce, who
had been a teacher in Piracicaba, was appointed
to Rio de Janeiro. Some months later beau
tiful property on Larangeiras (street of the
orange trees) was purchased. Concerning this
property it was said: "The altitude, salubrious
air, and distance from the crowded part of
the city make it almost a sanitarium when
yellow fever is prevailing. No case has ever
Miss Bruce encountered difficulties in pro
curing a license, but in her annual report she
writes in high hope:
Though the children did not swarm in at the opening
of the school, yet we are not discouraged. We have
fourteen pupils, eleven of whom are boarders. It will
require patience and waiting to develop the work here
and make a place as Miss Watts has done in Piraci
caba ; but in no spirit of boasting we believe our time
will come when we will be known and trusted and our
efforts crowned with success.
Just before the time to begin the second
session, there came upon the beautiful city a
severe scourge of yellow fever. Schools were
suspended and our missionaries were stricken
with fever. So great was the calamity that
Il6 W 'OMEN AND MISSIONS.
the General Secretary says: "Of our mission
aries in Rio de Janeiro it may be said as of
the Jews of old, 'they were scattered and
After this a brave effort was made to con
tinue the work, but pure water was found to
be insufficient and the expense of drainage so
exorbitant that early in 1893 the school at
Rio de Janeiro was closed, it having been
demonstrated that the frequent yellow fever
scourages made it impossible to establish a per
manent work. It was the purpose of the
Board to continue its work through a day
school and special work among the women.
Accordingly, the property on the heights was
sold and reinvested in a day school building
for Rio de Janeiro and in the establishment
of a boarding school at Petropolis.
Miss Lulu Ross opened the day school
under the handicaps of sickness and the neces
sity of seeking new quarters. The following
year Mrs. H. C. Tucker, formerly Miss Ella
Granbery, took charge. This was the year
of revolution, and throughout the bombard
ment of the city the workers stood at their
post despite the falling of shot and shell in
the streets. That year seventy-two pupils
ANOTHER CHALLENGE TO FAITH* 117
After the school had been discontinued for
eight months it was again opened by Miss
Layona Glenn in 1896. Miss Glenn planned
for a system of day schools, and for a number
of years three were in session: the Jardim
School, taught in the Jardim Church, the Cat-
tete in connection with the Cattete Church,
and the Collegio Americano Fluminense. (It
will be remembered that "collegio" merely
means school.) The last named was finally
closed in 1915, because suitable rented prop
erty could not be secured.
The most tragic event in the history of the
woman's missionary work in Brazil was the
failure to hold the vantage ground once held
in the capital of the republic, beautiful Rio.
At the closing session of the Woman's Board
of Foreign Missions, held in 1910, a pathetic
appeal came from the entire missionary body
in Brazil, pleading for a suitable building in
Rio de Janeiro as headquarters for work in
the republic. They wrote: "One of three
things is inevitable: the school must die a lin
gering death, it must be closed at once, or
the Board must put it in position to compete
favorably with the other schools in the city."
They asked for a committee to consider
locations and prices and to consult agents and
uS W 'OMEN AND MISSIONS.
architects before submitting plans, They
pleaded that the work in Rio de Janeiro be
In response the Board voted:
That the Executive Committee be authorized to nego
tiate a loan of $100,000 if, in their judgment, it were
considered wise to purchase the property in Rio de
Janeiro for which that amount has been appropriated
contingently, and that $25,000 of this amount be paid
annually to the bank to liquidate the indebtedness.
A month later the Woman's Board of For
eign Missions was merged with the Board of
Missions. At the first session of the Wom
an's Missionary Council, April, 1911, the
President, Miss Bennett, said in her message:
The Foreign Department of this Council, by its ac
tion last year, is committed to the establishment of a
girls' boarding school in the city of Rio de Janeiro.
Every reasonable effort ought to be put forth to accom
plish this work within the next twelve months.
At that time it was voted to hold a jubilee
in cooperation with the women of other boards.
The object of the offering was to be for the still
"projected and determined" boarding school
for high-class girls in Rio de Janeiro. When
the result of the gifts proved to be $25,962.08,
it seemed that the vision of the years was about
to be realized.
ANOTHER CHALLENGE TO FAITH. 119
In 1913 Miss Bennett and Miss Gibson vis
ited Brazil, spending four months in Rio de
Janeiro in search of suitable property. Be
cause of high prices, the difficulty of securing
a suitable place, and the breaking out of the
great World War, the long hope of the years
was again deferred. However, in 1919, Bish
op Moore, on his second visit to Brazil, suc
ceeded in securing a site upon which was lo
cated a beautiful building suited to the begin
nings of a first-class woman's college, the
situation of the property being such as to
command the attention of the entire city.
Hope again ran high, for the "projected and
determined" college for high-class girls in
Rio de Janeiro, it seemed, was about to be
come a reality, and this hope was changed to
"glad fruition" when at its session in 1920,
the Council authorized the erection of the
administration building for the Bennett Col
lege at Rio, plans and specifications to be
made and submitted at an early date.
Juiz DE FORA.
The difficulties which met the brave mis
sionaries in Rio de Janeiro and closed for
them the doors of opportunity pushed them
120 WOMEN AND MISSIONS.
out into other fields. In 1891 Miss Mary
Bruce spoke to the Woman's Board in session
concerning the two strategic centers of Pira-
cicaba and Rio de Janeiro and urged the open
ing of work in a third, Juiz de Fora. This
was a city of 21,000 people, which had al
ready a church and a well-established school
for boys, Granbery College. The bishop in
charge also urged the opening of a school for
girls, and the result was that in 1892 Miss
Bruce and eleven of her pupils were trans
ferred from Rio de Janeiro to Juiz de Fora,
and Collegio Mineiro was begun. The suc
cess of the school from the beginning was al
most without parallel in the history of our
boarding schools. Children from the high-
class families were entered, and soon the poor
ly equipped rented houses were outgrown.
Miss Perkinson writes in 1897: "Situated as
we are we have nothing to recommend us but
earnest and faithful work."
Thirty-eight pupils were enrolled at that
In 1900 she says: "We have been fortunate
in finding a much more convenient and com
modious house, \vhich costs us the same rent
as the one that Bishop Galloway said was
next to the worst thing he had ever seen in
ANOTHER CHALLENGE TO FAITH. 121
Southern Methodism. Life in general seems
broader and better here."
The event in 1904 that will always stand
out prominently in the history of the school
was the purchase of property. The house
that was occupied was to be sold at public
auction, according to the will of the owner,
who left it to his widow during her lifetime.
Her death forced the sale. The missionaries
longed to purchase it, prayed to God, and
wrote to the Foreign Secretary, asking permis
sion to bid on it. Four days before the sale
the cable came: "Bid up to eight thousand
dollars." They bid and secured the house.
The grounds were valuable, in the very heart
of the city, and the house was large, though
old. A prominent physician, a Catholic, but
a liberal man, said: "The Lord's hand was cer
tainly in that purchase, for a. number of men
were anxious to buy the property, and yet
they did not go to the sale." The missionaries
and their friends united in a praise service
on Thanksgiving Dry.
The purchase gratified the town, and many civic im
provements followed, among which were a new modern
railroad station, an electric street railway, with Ameri
can cars, which proved a boon to teachers and pupils
as well as to the public, and new sidewalks laid around
122 WOMEN AND MISSIONS.
Many alterations were made, adding to the comfort
of the college home. A large open gymnasium was
built from the material of a small house on the back
lot. Beside this building was the basket ball ground.
Another new feature was the rose garden, where the
queen of flowers revels in beauty and fragrance twelve
months in the year. The house was repaired and
painted, and the stately dwelling, all their own, seemed
like a palace to the missionaries who had been pilgrims
and wanderers so long. (''Story of the Years," by Miss
M. L. Gibson.)
The school prospered for a number of
years under the principalship of Miss Ida
Shaffer and later under Miss Sara Warne.
In 1913 the enrollment had reached one hun
dred and thirteen. Because the building did
not meet the needs of the school and because
Granbery College was receiving girls, it was
decided in 1914 to discontinue Collegio Mi-
neiro. The property was sold to the General
Department of the Board of Missions for the
use of Granbery. The Council received, in
exchange, property for the enlargement of
Collegio Isabella Hendrix at Bello Horizonte
and also a sum of money which was turned
into the fund for the projected school at Rio
de Janeiro. Collegio Mineiro was closed, yet
its years of efficient service and the consecrated
lives of the missionaries have enriched Brazil
in manifold ways.
ANOTHER CHALLENGE TO FAITH, 123
For a number of years the question of the
sale of property in Rio de Janeiro and the
purchase of property for the school in Petropo-
lis came before the Woman's Board for de
cision. The report of 1894-95 shows that the
exchange had been made. Miss Watts writes
of the opening of Collegio Americano:
A large house with almost no furniture is not famed
for cheerfulness, and this one on a hill far from any
other was no exception. On the seventh day of May
we opened our doors to the public. Three children ap
peared, and we went to work with them. No one of us
was busy all day, but we all had something to do for
the three. As each one constituted a distinct class and
each had several studies, there was more to do than any
but a teacher would think. In June two more came,
and July brought others. New names were enrolled
from time to time until we had twenty-four matricu
The yellow fever epidemic in Rio de Janeiro
had driven the court, diplomatic circles, and
all others who were financially able to this
health resort of Petropolis, which was only
three hours distant. This made the transfer
of the Rio de Janeiro property seem wise.
However, the situation of the college on the
hill made a day pupilage impossible. When
124 WOMEN AND MISSIONS.
later the court was removed, the numbers de
creased and the attendance became small. Be
cause the school did not seem to be serving the
largest needs and because of its proximity to
the capital city, the teachers and pupils were
removed in 1920 to Rio de Janeiro. This
formed the nucleus for the opening of that
school, and thus the original plan was served.
Miss Eliza Perkinson, who for years was the
head of the school at Petropolis, was appointed
to take charge of this new college.
For a number of years appeafs had been
made to the Woman's Board to open work in
Ribeirao Preto, but because of lack of funds
a continued refusal was necessary. Finally,
however, in 1899 Bishop Hendrix transferred
Miss Leonora Smith to that point and opened
a school, making the condition that there
should be no cost to the Woman's Board.
Miss Smith writes of those early days:
I arrived in Ribeirao Preto August 31 and opened
school September 5 in the hall now known as the Meth
odist church. There being no school furniture, the
church chairs and tables were kindly tendered me for
use until I could provide better. One of our members
ANOTHER CHALLENGE TO FAITH. 125
made at reasonable rates five double desks, a black
board, and a hatrack. Teaching in the church was
fraught with many inconveniences, the chief one being
the moving of school furniture three times a week to
prepare for public services and the arrangements for
school the following day. As soon as I could I made
a change, finding a house not in every particular de
sirable. I have two rooms, each about seven feet
square, which I use for bedroom and study, and a
large room for the school. For these and my board
I pay fifteen dollars.
The second year she enrolled seventy-six
pupils, and everywhere there seemed to be an
open door of opportunity. The success of
the school was such that the Board seemed
compelled to make an appropriation for its
In 1903 there came to the city of Ribeirao
Preto a terrible yellow fever epidemic, and
Miss Ida May Stewart and Miss Willie Bow
man, who were serving there at that time,
gave themselves in such self-sacrificing serv
ice to the sick and the dying that for years
their names were mentioned in the most lov
ing remembrance. This labor of love enlarged
their influence to such an extent that the fol
lowing year we find them moving into larger
and better quarters. This brought new cour
age, and the purchase of a fine lot a little
later gave a new prestige to the school.
126 WOMEN AND MISSIONS.
It was not until 1913 that plans for build
ing were really projected. There were at
that time two hundred and twelve children
crowded into an old building which was wholly
inadequate. The dedication of the new col
lege grounds took place while Miss Bennett
and Miss Gibson were in Brazil. Of this
occasion Miss Gibson says:
The dedication of the college grounds to the service
of God and ministry to children took place on Sunday
night, September 20, 1913. After the night service the
large congregation marched in procession to the col
lege grounds, and there under the stars and lighted by
a large incandescent lamp the assemblage stood while
selections from the Ritual were read in English by Dr.
Tilly and in Portuguese by Senor Reis. Hymns were
sung in the two languages, and short talks were made
by friends of the school, after which the erection of
the building was authorized in the name of the Wom
an's Missionary Council, and Miss Bennett and Miss
Gibson each planted a tree in commemoration of the
event which would prove of such moment in the history
of the Church and community.
The final completion of the building meant
for the Collegio Methodista a greatly enlarged
field of usefulness, and Miss Jennie Stradlcy,
the directress, continued to hold for it the
center of influence in that city of twenty thou
sand inhabitants, located in the heart of a
great Brazilian coffee region.
ANOTHER CHALLENGE TO FAITH, 12J
Collegia Isabella Hendrix.
Bishop Wilson visited Brazil in 1903 and,
upon his return, advised the sale of the prop
erty at Petropolis and recommended the open
ing of work in Bello Horizonte. That same
year the Board voted to occupy that impor
tant city. Miss Watts, who had pioneered the
work in Piracicaba and Petropolis, was ap
pointed to open the school. This appointment
was made with the intention of erecting a
building in the near future which should bear
the name Isabella Hendrix, in honor of Bish
op Hendrix's mother, whose deep interest in
the work and workers had been untiring. A
beautiful lot, comprising four acres near the
center of the town, had been given to the Gen
eral Board of Missions, half of which was
turned over to the Woman's Board of For
eign Missions, and, in 1905, the immediate
erection of the Isabella Hendrix was recom
Entrance into this city was made against
the strongest Catholic opposition, but the
courageous heart of our pioneer never failed.
She writes in 1905:
128 WOMEN AND MISSIONS.
A little more than a year ago we opened school with
five pupils, but during the session of nine months that
followed we matriculated sixty-three. It really is a
wonder that we have a Catholic child in the school, for
the priests preach against us on Sunday and work
against us on the week days. One priest told his con
gregation that Dona Isabella snatched the saint off the
neck of one of the children. We hear of people who
want to send their children to us, but are afraid.
The school continued to prosper, and in 1914
the enrollment had reached one hundred and
ninety-one. Not only did Catholic opposition
put the school to the test, but the educational
reforms going on in Brazil made a higher
standard necessary. Miss Watts says concern
ing this: "We'll stand the storm as we have
done in Piracicaba, Juiz de Fora, and Petropo-
lis; for our schools are God's schools. We
must have his lighthouses wherever we can
put them, and he will keep the light burning."
Miss Blanche Howell and Miss Mamie Fin-
ley, each in succession, followed Miss Watts
as Directress. Later, Miss Emma Christine
was put in charge. The following from her
gives an insight into the success of the school:
"The playgrounds are now a delight to pupils
and teachers. A little girl, a pupil, was heard
to say as she passed our gate: 'O but this
ANOTHER CHALLENGE TO FAITH. 129
school is good ! It is very good. It has play
grounds, a swing, and a seesaw !' '
Work in the classroom would seem to be
equally pleasant, for she further writes: "My
fifth-year class in the life of St. Paul was es
pecially interesting to me, as in it were many
girls who had never before studied the Bible.
One day one of these girls said: 'Paul was so
enthusiastic for Christ. Why are not our men
of to-day interested in religion?' And I
thought, 'Why not, indeed?'"
\Vhen the Methodist Episcopal Church
and the Methodist Episcopal Church, South,
agreed to work territorially in South America,
and Brazil was given over to Southern Meth
odism, this meant the entrance into the State
of Rio Grande do Sul and the carrying on
of the work that had already been begun in
the capital of Porto Alegre. The Woman's
Board, in its session in 1900, voted to follow
the General Board into South Brazil and to
accept the responsibility of the woman's work
in Porto Alegre, which had already been pro
jected by the Methodist Episcopal Church.
Porto Alegre is four days' journey from Rio
130 WOMEN AND MISSIONS.
de Janeiro, and Miss Mary Pescud, the first
appointee, writes two years later concerning
this new and untried field: "A year ago I was
a stranger in a strange land, a land almost
as different from the Brazil I knew as that
is from the homeland. Eight or ten differ
ent nationalities are represented in our circle
of friends, but we all found a common tongue
in the Portuguese language." Concerning her
school equipment, she says: ''Its quarters are
as poorly adapted for a school as can well
be imagined, "and its furnishings would pro
voke criticism in a backwoods school in the
States, though we are in the capital and lar
gest town of one of the largest States of
The school was opened with an enrollment
of fifty, and in 1918 the number had increased
to one hundred and ten. In 1909 two flour
ishing day schools were in session. Miss
Elizabeth Lamb followed Miss Mary Pescud
as the head of Collegio Americano and was
succeeded by Miss Eunice Andrew.
Constantly the missionaries wrote of their
success in spite of poor equipment and an illy
adapted rented building, inadequate to meet
the great possibilities in this rich city. The
Centenary ingathering of funds brought new
ANOTHER CHALLENGE TO FAITH. 131
courage, for the askings included $100,000 for
a new building at Porto Alegre.
SOCIAL SERVICE AND EVANGELISTIC WORK.
While the outwork has never been as strong
in Brazil as in China, yet much has been done
that is worthy of note. Miss Amelia Elerding,
who was appointed to Brazil in 1892, devoted
her efforts almost entirely to evangelistic
work — first in Rio de Janeiro and for many
years to Italian work in Sao Paulo.
In Rio de Janeiro Miss Elerding was assisted for
a time by Miss Wright, an English lady. A little or
gan brought by Miss Watts from the United States
was a great help in drawing the people together. Miss
Amelia Elerding began an industrial school with nine
pupils. With the help of Mrs. Tilly, she organized a
woman's prayer meeting. One afternoon in each week
the missionaries were "at home" to the estalayem peo
ple, giving them an opportunity to see how they lived
and how they enjoyed social life. Later Miss Elerding
organized a Ladies Aid Society to develop Christian
activity. Miss Bowman also worked most effectively
in Rio de Janeiro, interesting the English-speaking
ladies in visitation work and securing from them cloth
ing for children of the families on her visiting list.
She visited the Sailors' Mission, going on board ships
with the sailors' missionary to assist in Sunday serv
The great Central Mission, conducted by the Rev. H.
C. Tucker in a desperately needy section of Rio de
Janeiro, has for years had the services of women mis
sionaries supported by the woman's work. The fol-
132 W OMEN AND MISSIONS.
lowing missionaries have served this Church : Miss May
Dye, Miss Eunice Andrew, Miss Trulie Richmond,
Miss Blanche Howell, Miss Virginia Howell.
In 1898 Miss Elerding was transferred from Rio de
Janeiro to Sao Paulo after her furlough, during which
time she tried to gain new ideas and new methods re
lating to woman's work. There were ninety thousand
Italians in Sao Paulo, and from the first Miss Elerding
felt a strong interest in them. While she has done
some work among the Portuguese, yet her main effort
has been directed to the Italians. The work among
Brazilians would have been more permanent and en
couraging if there had been conservation of effort
through a strong central Church that would have com
manded the respect and won the confidence of the
people of Sao Paulo. With three Bible women and
one evangelistic helper, Miss Elerding has lived among
the people, visiting their homes, loving them, and serv
ing them for Christ's sake. She has held people's
prayer meetings before services on Sunday evenings
and on Friday evenings and has attended services at
the carpenters' shops with good results.
In Porto Alegre the Institutional Church has been
supplied with a pastor's assistant, and for a number
of years a day school was conducted in that church by
the Woman's Board.
In Piracicaba a Woman's Aid Society was organ
ized years ago to build up the spiritual, social, and finan
cial interests of the Church. During one year four
hundred dollars was raised and many women led out
into Church work. In 1897 the president of the so
ciety urged the members to take up Bible women in
China as their special work.
Flower missions and services in jails and hospitals
have been carried on in various places. — "Story of the
Years," M. L. Gibson.
ANOTHER CHALLENGE TO FAITH* 133
WOMAN'S MISSIONARY SOCIETY.
The 1911 report of the Woman's Mission
ary Society of Brazil showed that at that
time there had been organized twenty-two
auxiliaries with a membership of six hundred
and seventy-three. The aim adopted by this
society was to establish parochial schools in a
number of small towns in connection with the
pastorates and to be responsible for their sup
port. Their plan also included contributions
to foreign missions. In 1919 they sent their
first check to the Council Treasurer for work
ANSWERING A NEIGHBOR'S NEED.
THE beginnings of all worth-while enter
prises are fraught with intense interest. This
is particularly true with reference to the be
ginnings of the woman's work in each of the
fields occupied, and Mexico is not an excep
tion. It has, indeed, a distinctive interest of
its own in the fact that it was begun not on
Mexican, but on American soil, and in a pri
vate home. The first annual report of the
Woman's Missionary Society shows that an
appropriation of five hundred dollars was
made to a school on the Mexican border, con
ducted in the home of Mrs. Jacob Norwood
at Laredo, Tex. This amount went to the
support of four girls, two of whom boarded
in Mrs. Norwood's home, the other two being
day pupils. This small beginning was made
in answer to the plea of the Rev. A. H. Suth
erland, the founder of Southern Methodism
on the Mexican border. With wonderful
foresight he writes: "We hold a very advan-
ANSWERING A NEIGHBOR'S NEED. 135
tageous position. We are able to carry on
foreign mission work under our own flag.
My plan is to prosecute this border work until
we reach the Pacific, thus having one long line
of gospel breastworks and an army of gospel
workers from the Gulf of Mexico to the Pa
The second annual report shows that an
appropriation of an additional five hundred
dollars was made for pupils to be boarded and
educated in the home of Mrs. Sutherland in
This was, indeed, a small beginning, but
there was in the minds of the women the seed-
thought of a great school soon to be estab
lished in Laredo. Under date of April 17,
1 88 1, Mrs. Norwood says: "You will no doubt
be surprised to learn of our removal from
Laredo to this place (Conception). The two
girls (boarders) will remain with me, I sup
pose, until the opening of the proposed col
lege in Laredo. I sincerely hope the college
will be built, that many Mexican girls may be
educated there. Laredo is a promising and
an interesting place, and it was with many
regrets that we left."
136 W OMEN AND MISSIONS.
In September of that same year two regu
larly appointed missionaries, Miss Annie Wil
liams and Miss Rebecca Toland, were sent to
the Mexican border. Already four thousand
dollars had been appropriated for the build
ing of Laredo Seminary, and a plot of ground
had been donated by the Rev. Elias Robert
son. The General Secretary writes in the re
port of 1882:
The unavoidable delay in the erection of the build
ing has not materially affected the work of our young
ladies this year. Miss Williams is located for the
present at the Mexican town Conception, heart and
soul given to her work, and Miss Toland not less suc
cessfully engaged in teaching a fine school at Laredo.
Miss Annie Williams says of her work in
these days: "My home for two months after
coming to the border was with Mr. Norwood's
family, but they were called away from Con
ception, and I went to live with a Mexican
family, where I have remained up to this time.
I have been the recipient of many kindnesses
from the Mexicans of this place and realize
what a noble people they will become when the
light of the gospel truth illuminates their
hearts and minds. I ask that an appropriation
ANSWERING A NEIGHBOR'S NEED. 137
be made to complete and furnish the seminary
The building was completed October 13,
1882, at which time Miss Williams took
charge. She says: "We spent some time in
furnishing the building and trying to make
ready for the fall session, which opened the
second Monday in November. We had only
three Mexican and four American children at
the beginning, but in a short time the school
increased to eighteen." That same year Miss
Toland had sixty pupils in her self-supporting
day school at Laredo.
At the end of the first year Miss Williams
was married to the Rev. J. F. Corbin, and Miss
Toland was given supervision of the sem
inary until the arrival of Miss Nannie Hold
ing in October of 1883. Since that time the
Laredo Seminary has been inseparably asso
ciated with Miss Holding's name. Her whole
life and soul became incarnate in the institu
tion ; and the daughters of the school, some of
whom were in attendance for years, were in
deed her daughters. She remained at the
head of Laredo Seminary for nearly thirty
years. When she became principal the build
ing would accommodate by the utmost over
crowding only thirty children. During her
138 WOMEN AND .MISSIONS.
cidministration it was enlarged to a capacity
of between three and four hundred. In her
book, "A Decade in Mission Life," she says:
February of 1885 found us domiciled in our com
fortable and sorely needed new quarters. The crowd
ing in the old house made the new one seem so roomy
that sometimes a little faithless wonder would come :
Would it ever be possible for its halls to be filled with
children? We were soon rebuked for our faithless
ness, for in one short year our numbers caused the
prayer to go forth which brought us Faith Hall.
The following incident shows the origin of
the name "Faith Hall." Miss Holding says:
It was late in the fall of 1886. As I write, how that
November evening comes back to me laden with the
perfume of holy memories. I see again the dear friends
and the precious children gathered one by one in the
little chapel after a day of fasting; I feel again the
hush of the Master's presence; I hear the voice of sup
plication as we told of our need, of how crowded we
were, of how our hearts were grieved to turn away
those who wanted to enter our home ; I hear again the
expression of the simple faith of the children. Faith
Hall now stands as a monument to that evening's
prayer. With strong confidence, one of the little ones,
looking up with pure, innocent eyes said : "Shall we
begin to-morrow?" I answered "No; but we will pre
pare the ground." So the morning found us taking
measurements and removing trees.
At the meeting of the Woman's Board in
1887 Miss Holding made a plea to the Com
mittee on Extension of Work for the money
ANSWERING A NEIGHBOR'S NEED. 139
to erect Faith Hall. The answer was: "We
fear we cannot give you what you ask." On
the anniversary night of that same session she
made a public address on Mexico. As she
closed, Mrs. Lizzie Swiggart stepped forward
taking from the table an empty box which had
contained flowers. In eloquent words she
thrilled the audience until they pressed for
ward pouring their gifts into the box. This
was the beginning of making Faith Hall a
reality. Donations came afterwards from
nearly every Southern State.
After the Woman's Foreign Mission and
Home Mission Boards were united Laredo
Seminary was turned over to the home de
partment. Miss Holding was succeeded by
Dr. J. M. Skinner. The name was changed
to Holding Institute in honor of the one whose
hope and faith had been a leaven, not only
for the work on the border, but throughout
all of Mexico.
Miss Holding was not only head of Laredo
Seminary, but was agent for missionary work
along both sides of the border. In 1888 the
Woman's Board began work in Saltillo, a
140 WOMEN AND MISSIONS.
city of about twenty thousand inhabitants. A
few years previous a day school, opened by
Mrs. Corbin, had been taken in charge by Miss
Leila Roberts, who was being supported by
the "Rosebuds" of Virginia. As the school
grew it became the incarnation of the life of
Miss Roberts almost to the same degree that
Laredo Seminary had become the expression
of Miss Holding's mind and heart. The cir
cumstances under which she was heroically
laboring when the Woman's Board entered
Saltillo marked her as a true pioneer. The
three-hundred-year-old building in which the
school was being conducted was adobe with
the exception of the stone facings of the win
dows and doors. There was no glass in the
windows, and the heavy wooden shutters
"shut out all light where most needed, or let
in all of the cold where least wanted,"
At the close of Miss Roberts's first year of
work for the Woman's Board, Miss Holding
Miss Roberts has worked faithfully to make the
Colegio Ingles what it is. I am more and more
pleased with the school at every visit. In the short
space of one year we can almost call it self-supporting.
That same year an appropriation was made
to buy property. Miss Holding and Miss Rob-
ANSWERING A NEIGHBOR'S NEED. 141
erts searched in vain to find a suitable place,
and finally resorted to the three-century-old
property then occupied. A letter written four
years later by the Rev. H. C. Morrison, Sen
ior Secretary of the General Board, describes
the transformation of the building:
At Saltillo we met Miss Roberts, a woman of mar
velous power for work and doing good. To her is due
the undying honor of the work in that city. Alone and
unaided she battled for a time, and then under the
fostering hand of the Woman's Board she has wrought
wonders — a school property, commodious and well ar
ranged, with the touch of taste on every hand. In ad
dition to this property and fronting on another street
is the new church. The lot on which it is located was
purchased by Miss Roberts with the proceeds from
the school, and the building was erected through her
energy and the financial aid of Brother Grimes, of our
work. This plant is a gospel arc light in the heart of
Miss Roberts, in her report of this same
year (1893), reveals the proportions which the
work had begun to take. She says:
A normal department, with a course of study to be
completed in three years, was added to our work. As
teaching is really the only avenue open to the women
by which they can earn enough to be above want, we
saw that our opportunity had come to prove to the
people that we were ready, as far as possible, to meet
this deeply felt need.
142 WOMEN AND MISSIONS.
By tenacity of purpose and personal effort
she succeeded in the establishment of this de
partment. In time all the other mission
schools of the woman's work became feeders
to the normal school at Saltillo, each sending
yearly, when possible, its most promising pu
pils for teacher-training. Miss Roberts, in her
report of 1894, further says:
Seventy-five poor children were taught in our free
schools, and there is one place where all, the high and
the low, the rich and the poor, meet together every
day, and that is in our chapel services where God is
worshiped and his Word is studied. The work wherein
my soul delights is that with the poor women. They
come to us as their M.D. and their D.D. The number
of those enrolled in our Bible and sewing class is
sixty-seven. They meet me once a week on the shady
side of the wall in one of our courts, as there is no
The record of 1896 shows that there was
at that time an enrollment of one hundred
and ninety-one and that the income was pay
ing two-fifths of the school expenses. Such
prestige had been established that the Govern
or of the State had recommended it to par
ents who were asking for the best places to
educate their girls. This favor with the of
ficials continued, for later, through the in
fluence of Governor Carranza, a subsidy of
ANSWERING A NEIGHBOR'S NEED. 143
one hundred dollars (Mexican) a month was
received from the State. The Saltillo Normal
was the only Protestant school invited to have
representation in the Congress of Teachers in
The school at Saltillo was also the only
one of our schools that was not closed at some
time during the revolution. Miss Roberts made
frequent visits into Mexico and was thus able
to keep the work from being discontinued.
The report of 1919 shows an enrollment of
two hundred and three, the student body rep
resenting six States in Mexico and the Mexi
can population in the United States. Govern
or Mariles, a former pupil of the school, wrote
in this year: "I desire to restore to your school
the monthly subsidy of one hundred dollars
(Mexican) granted by President Carranza
when he was governor."
Miss Roberts writes at that time: "Gov
ernor Mariles was anxious to have us lay the
corner stone of the new school building last
September. He guarantees us every neces
sary protection as well as his personal sup
In view of these facts, the Council voted in
1919 to erect a new building at the very earli
est date possible, a fine piece of land facing
WOMEN AND MISSIONS.
the Alameda and diagonally across from the
State Normal having recently been purchased
with that in view. This action was confirmed by
the session of 1920 in the passage of the reso
lution to erect for the Normal School at Sal-
tillo an administration building to cost $150,-
ooo, to be provided from a previous appropria
tion of $20,000 and from Centenary funds.
The great esteem in which the school was held
was shown by the fact that its friends and ex-
students also subscribed most generously to
this building fund. The recent awakening
that came to Mexico as a result of the Cen
tenary created a great demand for more in
tensive training of evangelistic workers. To
meet this demand it was decided to open in
the fall of 1920 a department of Bible in con
nection with the Normal, the old normal build
ing to be used for settlement work, thereby
providing a center for the further training of
The MacDonell Institute.
A school at Durango was opened by Miss
Kate McFarren during the ministry of Rob
ert MacDonell (the husband of Mrs. R. W.
MacDonell, former Executive Secretary of
ANSWERING A NEIGHBOR'S NEED. 145
the Home Department). After his death the
desire became strong among the women of the
Board of Foreign Missions to help extend
the life and influence of this one who had
given himself in heroic sacrifice. According
ly, property was purchased in 1889 and the
school, which was taken over from the Parent
Board, was called the MacDonell Institute.
Miss McFarren was in charge until 1898, at
which time she was appointed to evangelistic
work and Miss Ellie B. Tidings was made
Principal. The MacDonell Institute, from its
beginning "met and suffered much." There
was in the early days a lack of railroad facili
ties, so that this mountainous region was al
most inaccessible to the outside world. The
fanaticism of the people was so intense that
many of the experiences of the workers could
well be termed persecution. The property
seems constantly to have been in danger, and
even as late as 1903 Miss Tidings writes:
One day they (meaning the neighbors, who by law
had a right to do so) sent workmen to wall up our
windows, and when I asked the chief workman what
was their motive, he shrugged his shoulders and said :
"Just to injure the school." Last year the Jefe Politico
sent policemen to protect us on the night of September
16 (Independence Day) ; but, notwithstanding their
presence, quite a number of our windows were broken,
146 WOMEN AND MISSIONS.
so this year he sent word beforehand that he would
be personally responsible for our property. The mob
came as usual, and we heard them screeching for
hours. They could see that the Jefe Politico was keep
ing watch. We heard afterwards that they threatened
to kill him for not permitting them to "celebrate their
In spite of persecution, the school was suc
ceeding; for the Corresponding Secretary of
the Woman's Board says in one of her re
The city of Durango, while priest-ridden and fanati
cal, is not openly so hostile as formerly. The gracious
influences emanating from MacDonell Institute are
being felt very sensibly; and while superstitution and
mariolatry abound, the opra Bible is no longer an un
The damage that the neighbors had done
by putting one side of the school building in
darkness led to its sale and the purchase of a
large piece of property with a number of dif
ferent buildings. An interesting thing about
this new property was that between the build
ings there was a cock pit. Miss Esther Case,
Executive Secretary for Latin America, on
her visit to Mexico in 1919 writes:
It has two stories (meaning the cock pit), and at
one side there is a long room that could be used as an
assembly hall. If this cock pit could be covered with
glass, it would serve as a gymnasium and also for a
hall for closing exercises.
ANSWERING A NEIGHBOR'S NEED. 147
Miss May Tread well was in charge of Mac-
Donell Institute in 1910, and in 1911 Mrs.
Nellie O'Bierne was appointed principal.
Mrs. O'Bierne says in the report of 1911-12:
Though we have had wars and rumors of wars all
the year, our work has steadily grown. In September
when we opened we had sixty pupils, we have now
passed the two-hundred mark.
In this high tide of success the school was
closed, and in the report of the Foreign De
partment Secretary for the following year we
MacDonell Institute was suspended last spring
because of political disturbances in and around Du-
However, the fall of 1912 found the mis
sionaries at work. All went well for a \vhile,
but toward the close of the year conditions
became more serious, farms all around the
city were burned and provisions destroyed.
For a while all communication with the out
side world was cut off, and affairs grew so
much worse that the vice consul decided that
the missionaries should leave.
With the territorial division of Mexico,
which was made according to denominational
agreement, Durango remained in the hands of
Southern Methodism, and the Council voted
I48 WOMEN AND MISSIONS.
in 1919 to reopen the school there as soon as
workers were available.
Dr. W. B. Palmore, who visited Mexico in
1889, became so interested in that needy field
that at the meeting of the Woman's Board in
May, 1890, he made the following offer:
I hereby promise to donate to the Woman's Board
of Foreign Missions for a girls' school in Chihuahua
all of a plot of land purchased for me by Rev. S. G.
Kilgore and lying on the south side of and adjoining
the property of the Parent Board, the property to be
used for a site for a girls' school to be owned and
operated by the Woman's Board of Foreign Missions
of the Methodist Episcopal Church, South.
The gift was accepted, and the school
opened the following year with Miss Augusta
Wilson as principal. In 1892 a building was
erected and the school named Colegio Palmore.
The foundations were well laid by the first
principal during her three years of service, and
the institution had a phenomenal growth from
Miss Elizabeth Wilson, who was appointed
to Laredo Seminary in 1889 as matron of that
school, became the successor to Miss Augusta
AN Sly BRING A NEIGHBOR'S NEED. 149
Wilson. From that time on, until her death
in 1916, the work of Palmore College centered
about that remarkable personality. She was
assisted during all of these years by her close
friend and coworker, Miss Lucy Harper. In
Miss Wilson's third report she says : "Our
work embraces four departments : a pay school
for girls and one for boys writh some outside
pupils for English only. These, with the
woman's work, missionary society, two Sun
day schools, a prayer meeting, some visiting,
and the help in the Church services, keep us
The enrollment in 1910 had reached five
hundred and eighty-seven, and the church,
located on the compound and having a mem-
•bership made up principally of the former pu
pils of the school, had become one of the
strongest in Mexico.
In 1902 a commercial department was
opened under the direction of Prof. Servando
I. Esquivel, a former pupil of Miss Wilson.
Professor Esquivel, in speaking of Miss Wil
son, her school, and its work, says:
Miss Wilson's contribution to Mexico is the educa
tion of more than three thousand boys and girls.
Could there have been a greater one? To accomplish
it she toiled in the early hours of the morning and
worked far into the night. She did not spare herself.
150 WOMEN AND MISSIONS.
Her mission, the one she loved most, was the bringing
of souls to Christ. And so if any one visiting Pal-
more College in its best days had asked to see its
highest expression, I should have led him to Holding
Hall at chapel time, where the principal brought forth
the treasures of the Scriptures to deposit them in the
spirit of the students ; or to the office at the evening
twilight hour, where she gathered the girls around her
for prayer r.nd sacred songs ; or to the parlor on Sun
day morning, where she taught the women of her Sun
day school class. These were the crowning moments
of her life, the high-water marks of the life of the
school. Not all of the students came into personal con
tact with her, but not one ever left without having
felt the touch of her influence. She did not allow any
public function of the institution to be opened without
recognition of her God. More than one Governor of
the State of Chihuahua bowed for the first time in
prayer with Protestants at the closing exercises of
Palmore College, because Miss Wilson would place
God first. She was a spiritual leader.
Herein lies the secret of the marvelous pow
er wielded by Palmore College for more than
In 1914, when Miss Wilson and Miss Har
per were telegraphed instructions to leave
Mexico, the reply was: "No trouble. No
fears. Fine school. Firm friends. Please
let us stay."
The Secretary of the Foreign Department
says in her report of that year:
ANSWERING A NEIGHBOR'S NEED. 151
Misses Wilson and Harper remained in Chihuahua,
the storm center of warfare, until General Villa and
six trains o^ soldiers entered the city. Then the
American consul ordered them to leave. They left,
taking with them their faculty and a number of pupils.
They stopped at El Paso, and within two weeks had
rented a house in the midst of the Mexicans and
opened a school composed principally of children of
their former patrons who had refugeed to El Paso.
In two months the school increased to one hundred and
The Council did not, however, deem its
continuance advisable because a number of
Mexican schools were already being conducted
in El Paso. The strain of the turbulent
times proved too much for the frail body of
Miss Wilson, and on Sunday morning, Au
gust 29, 1916, she passed to the life beyond.
In 1914, at a conference of denominational
representatives, held in Cincinnati, plans were
proposed for a territorial adjustment of Mexi
co. At a later meeting in Mexico City, the
adjustments made allotted to our Church the
border States of Sonora and Tamaulipas be
sides the interior State of Durango, thus giv
ing to the Methodist Episcopal Church, South,
an unbroken territory extending across the
border of Mexico from the Gulf of Mexico
on the east to the Gulf of California on the
west. In 1919 this plan was put into effect.
152 WOMEN AND MISSIONS.
The school at Saltillo had never really closed,
so the first one to be reopened by the Council
was that of Colegio Palmore. In the reor
ganization of the school the boys' boarding
department was opened in a building received
through exchange with the American Board.
The Rev. J. P. Lancaster was appointed Prin
cipal and Miss Mary E. Massey Associate
Principal. Two years later Miss Massey be
came the head of the institution.
In 1919, in one of the buildings on the
school compound, the Council opened its first
Christian social center in Mexico with Miss
Lillie Fox as Head Resident. It was decided
that the name Centro Christiano should be
given to this settlement and all others that
might in the future be opened in Mexico.
SAN Luis POTOSI.
In 1882 Miss Blanche Gilbert was sent to
Mexico City to pioneer work in Central Mex
ico. It was later decided to begin in San Luis
Potosi, but from the annual report of 1885
we learn that work at that point was carried
on for only one year. Miss Gilbert and Miss
Mattie Jones, her assistant, were transferred
ANSWERING A NEIGHBOR'S NEED. 153
to other fields and the property which had
been purchased was sold.
In 1890 Miss Holding was sent to this city
with a view to reopening work. At that time
she purchased an attractive piece of property
which had formerly been a part of an old Fran
ciscan convent. Miss Toland, the first prin
cipal of the new school, writes: "When I ar
rived at San Luis Potosi last July I found
Miss Holding here with everything in readi
ness to welcome me. Already she had the
patio adorned with beautiful pot plants and
everything looking bright and cheerful."
Miss Toland was Principal until 1902, when
she was succeeded by Miss Esther Case, who
was, in turn, followed by Miss Laura V.
Wright. In 1902 Miss Frances Moling be
came the head of the school and continued
in this position until its close. In 1892 Miss
Holding writes concerning the work at San
Luis Potosi: "This school is almost without
parallel in its growth and prosperity. In the
two years of its existence it has outgrown its
boundaries and called for more room, more
money, and more helpers."
To meet this demand an addition was made
to the building and a boarding department add
ed to the day school. A charity school was
154 WOMEN AND MISSIONS.
also conducted in another part of the city
under Miss Viola Blackburn's supervision.
In 1914 the institution was obliged to be
closed on account of the revolution. Miss
Moling writes concerning this tragic event:
On April 21, 1914, when the Americans entered Vera
Cruz, we quickly sent the children away for the night
and went ourselves, not realizing that we would never
return. The children were in the study hall when the
message came that mobs were forming in the streets,
that the American consulate had been attacked, the
flags torn down and trampled underfoot, and the con
sul himself saved only by the timely intervention of a
servant who wrapped the Mexican flag about him and
spirited him away. We knew then that it was time for
us to go, as the college, too, had been threatened. Mexi
can friends came to our rescue, friends who were true
when the test came, and all of our girls were given
homes for the night. A lady who had been formerly
a student at Colegio Ingles offered us the protection
of her home, which we, of course, gladly accepted.
We expected to return the following day, but were
bitterly disappointed, the streets still being filled with
infuriated mobs. The time for closing the scholastic
year was at hand. The deep solicitude of our friends
in the homeland, the frequent messages from our Sec
retary, which had preceded the occupation of Vera
Cruz, all combined to help us to decide to leave Mexico
until it would be safe to occupy our building again.
Accordingly the last of May, on a special train made up
of refugees, we left the work that meant more to us
than anythiag else in the world.
ANSWERING A NEIGHBOR'S NEED. 155
With the exchange of properties incident
to the allotment of territory, the Christian
Woman's Board of Missions received the
property at San Luis Potosi, while theirs at
Monterey fell to the Woman's Missionary
Council. At this latter place a girls' school
was opened in the fall of 1919 with Miss Dora
Ingram in charge.
In 1893 Miss Augusta Wilson and Miss
Mattie Dorsey were transferred from Chi
huahua to Guadalajara for the purpose of
opening a new school. Miss Wilson remained
at the head of this institution for five years
and was then succeeded by Miss Esther Case.
After two years, Miss Case was followed by
Miss Alice B. Griffith. Mrs. A. E. McClen-
don, Mrs. Ellen B. Carney, Miss Norwood E.
Wynn, and Miss Mary Massey, each in turn,
served as Principal. Because of the fanati
cism of this city, our missionaries were never
able to attract a pupilage from the upper class
es and the school suffered from the frequent
changes of policy resulting from the changes
in principalship. However, numbers of the
children of the native pastors were among
I r6 WOMEN AND MISSIONS.
the graduates, many of whom have given valu
able service in our mission schools and in ac
tive Church work. During the time that Mrs.
McClendon was Principal the school was given
the name Institute Colon (Columbus). While
Miss Wynn was the head of the school a prop
erty was purchased which was formerly a
sanitarium conducted as a branch of the Bat
tle Creek Sanitarium of this country. This
was the best piece of property that the Wom
an's Board owned in Mexico.
A day school was conducted in a building
adjoining the church property in San Juan de
Dios, the slum section of Guadalajara. This
school was called the Trueheart Day School
in honor of Mrs. S. C. Trueheart, the Corre
sponding Secretary of the Woman's Board of
In the exchange of properties the school at
Guadalajara went to the Congregationalists.
Mary Keener Institute.
Mary Keener Institute, in Mexico City, was
opened in 1897 under the principalship of
Miss Hardynia Norville. A day school had
previously been conducted in the basement of
the mission church which had been supported
ANSWERING A NEIGHBOR'S NEED. 157
by the women of Carondelet Street Church,
New Orleans. Their interest in the work had
been aroused by Bishop Keener, and when the
Woman's Board took over the school it was
given the name Keener Institute. At the re
quest of Bishop Keener, this name was
changed to Mary Keener, in honor of the
bishop's wife, who he said had been the prime
mover in the enterprise. Mary Keener Insti
tute was opened in a rented building and was
throughout the years of its existence without
any permanent quarters. Property was so dif
ficult to secure that the missionaries worked
under the severest handicap. Mrs. Cobb, Ex
ecutive Secretary, says in her report of 1911-
There are no words too strong to portray the real
positive need for a change of location. The house for
which we pay nearly $4,500 (Mexican) rent each year
is dark, gloomy, poorly ventilated, poorly lighted, and,
worse still, has sewerage that is a menace to the in
mates. There are no windows in the bedrooms and no
ventilation except through open doors.
In spite of these conditions the school pros
pered under the able management of Miss
Esther Case. Mrs. Cobb goes on to say in this
Brave Miss Case ! Who else would have endured
such conditions? All honor to the woman who, despite
158 WOMEN AND MISSIONS.
such environment, can sustain the largest school for
girls in Mexico City! If she had failed, if there were
not still almost constant applications from the best
families in the city, including that of Madero himself,
we might consider closing the school.
As a result of Mrs, Cobb's visit to Mexico
and her presentation of the conditions under
which the school was being conducted, a much
more desirable place was leased for three
years and the last year of the school was con
ducted under more favorable circumstances.
An interesting feature connected with the
Mary Keener Institute was the Chinese Sun
day school, in which American and Mexican
teachers and pupils from the advanced grades
of the school taught Chinese pupils on Sunday
afternoon. Many of these pupils were con
verted and became active members of Mesias
Church, the largest Methodist Episcopal
Church, South, in Mexico City.
The Institute was closed in 1914. Miss
Case says in her report:
Our work was rudely interrupted when the bom
bardment began on February 9 and lasted for ten days.
During that time we sent as many of our boarding
girls as we could to their homes. Our church and
mission house were in the danger zone. Though more
than two thousand people were killed in the" city, thou
sands wounded, and bullets and parts of exploded
shell thrown into our school yard and on our roof, we
ANSWERING A NEIGHBOR'S NEED. 159
were mercifully spared and kept from harm. Our
boarding and day pupils returned promptly after the
bombardment and we carried on the work until the
end of the school year in May. On August 28 a cable
gram was received telling all the missionaries to leave
at once. We sent our boarding pupils home, closed
school, and had announcements printed and mailed to
our patrons and friends telling them why we were
leaving. We came away very reluctantly, hoping we
might return after the election in October. When that
was a failure, \ve planned to return by the first of the
year ; but the revolution continues, and we can only
pray that peace may come and the way be opened for
us to resume our work.
After the territorial division among the de
nominations, the responsibility for Mexico
City fell into other hands, and the former
Principal of Mary Keener Institute was en
gaged in the tasks which fall to the Execu
tive Secretary of the Council for Latin Amer
ica and Africa.
In the exchange of properties the Council
received a day school, Colegio Progreso, lo
cated at Parral, a mining town of about 15,-
ooo inhabitants in the State of Chihuahua.
This school, formerly owned by the American
Board, was conducted for thirty-five years by
Miss Prescott, who was obliged to leave on
160 WOMEN AND MISSIONS.
account of the revolution. The Mexican teach
ers were taken over by the Woman's Mission
ary Council and the school was carried on
without interruption. In 1918 four teachers
were employed and two hundred and twelve
THE CENTENARY IN MEXICO.
The work of the Centenary was so success
fully carried on in Mexico that important fi
nancial help was given by the people them
selves in the upbuilding of the mission insti
tutions. At that time Miss Norwood Wynn
was appointed as Student Secretary for Mex
ico. More than one hundred and thirty young
people volunteered. These she organized into
volunteer bands and assisted in making plans
for their life work. Miss Wynn also organized
Woman's Missionary Society auxiliaries
among the women ; and Miss Case, in her vis
it to Mexico in 1919, formed a Conference
society with nine auxiliaries.
A NEW CAMPAIGN.
THE IRENE TOLAND SCHOOL.
UPON the close of the Spanish-American
War, the General Board of Missions took im
mediate steps to enter Cuba. The Senior Sec
retary, Dr. Walter Lambuth, decided that
Santiago was the best place in which to open
the gospel campaign. Accordingly, a house
was rented and the Woman's Board was al
lowed the use of one room. Miss G. Hattie
Carson was at once transferred from Mexico
for the purpose of enterprising a girls' school.
This school was named in honor of Dr. Irene
Toland, a sister of Miss Rebecca Toland, who
was at that time a missionary in San Luis
Potosi, Mexico. Dr Toland was a graduate
of the American Medical College at St. Louis,
Mo. A few days after her graduation she
opened an office in that city and rapidly built
up a large practice. When yellow fever was
raging among our soldiers at Santiago, she
offered her services to the government as
nurse and worked in that capacity when she
162 WOMEN AND MISSIONS.
might have gone as physician. Day after day,
medicine case in hand, she fought to save the
soldiers from the dread pestilence, and then,
at last, worn beyond endurance, she fell a vic
tim to typhoid fever and ere long laid do\vn
her life as a sacrifice for the American sol
diers. To commemorate this service of love,
the school at Santiago was named Irene To-
Because of the inaccessibility of Santiago
and the continued scourge of yellow fever, the
Irene Toland School was moved, after a year
and a half, to Matanzas, "the city of the two
rivers," and Miss Lily Whitman was made
Principal. In 1902, however, Miss Rebecca
Toland was transferred from Mexico, and in
1920 the school was still under her supervision.
For twelve years the Irene Toland School
was housed in rented property, but at the end
of that time a beautiful situation was secured
on a hillside overlooking the city and the bay
Miss Esther Case, Executive Secretary for
Latin America, says in a report of 1919:
The enrollment of day pupils in the Irene Toland
is comparatively small because it is located rather far
from the center of the city. The majority of these
are carried to and from school in the auto bus, which
A NEW CAMPAIGN. 163
is owned by the institution. During the nineteen years
of the school's existence it has drawn patronage from
more than fifty towns and from every province of the
island. The Cuban teachers in the grades are former
pupils of the school, and others of its graduates and
former pupils are teaching, some in mission and others
in public schools. It is incorporated with the institute
of Matanzas Province and the necessary equipment is
being installed for the third and fourth years of high
THE ELIZA BOWMAN SCHOOL.
In the same year that the Woman's Board
voted to move the Irene Toland School to
Matanzas the following resolution was passed:
We recommend that Miss Nannie E. Holding be re
quested to go to Havana and organize the work there
as soon as the heat of the summer will admit and that
the North and East Texas Conference Societies be
granted the privilege of naming the school Eliza Bow
man, in honor of one whose holy life was a benediction
to all with whom she came in contact.
Mrs. Eliza Bowman was a woman greatly
honored among Texas women for her godly
life and character and her zeal for missions.
Her son, Richard Bowman, gave one thousand
dollars toward founding the school.
The twenty-third annual report showed that
the school had been opened at Havana and
was in charge of Miss Hattie Carson. It re
mained in this city for seven years and car-
164 WOMEN AND MISSIONS.
ried on during that time some of its most suc
cessful work. Because there was no Church
in its vicinity, thereby making it impossible to
conserve the efforts of the missionaries, it was
decided, at the suggestion of Bishop Candler,
to move to Cienfuegos.
At that time the South Georgia Conference
Society united with the North Texas in buy
ing a fine piece of property in the central part
of the city. Miss Carson writes:
The school is situated on the corner of two of the
best streets, just a block from our pretty new church.
It is such a joy to be in our own home without fear
of having to move at the whim of the owner. There
are twenty-one rooms in the house besides three bath
rooms, and there are fifteen stationary washstands
throughout the building. The Eliza Bowman has been
incorporated with the public schools and renders her
monthly report to the city authorities, thus being under
the city's protection. Besides Spanish, we teach the
usual English branches and are prepared to give a good
high school course. We also teach instrumental and
vocal music, typewriting, sewing, and embroidery.
Most of our boarders do all of their own sewing, even
a child of ten years making dresses for her little sister.
Miss Carson remained at the head of the
Eliza Bowman School until 1914, when Miss
Frances B. Moling, who came out of Mexico
on account of the revolution, was made Prin
cipal. So crowded did the school become that
A NEW CAMPAIGN. 165
there was always a long list of applicants for
the boarding department.
In 1919 a piece of land was bought in Juan-
ita, an addition of Cienfuegos, and plans
were made for the erection of a new building
to meet the demand. This location, it was
known, would cut off the possibility of a day
patronage, consequently it was voted to retain
the old property for the day school and a so
cial center, thus enlarging the scope of the
Miss Case says after a visit to Cuba in
Havana is the great center of population, as it is
the center of commerce and everything that is worth
while in Cuba. One-seventh of the population of the
island is gathered there, and one-fourth of its in
habitants live there and within a radius of twenty-five
miles. If the Woman's Missionary Council could es
tablish a girls' school near Candler College, in Havana,
our Church would then be in a position to provide op
portunity for Christian education for both boys and
girls. The parents who send their boys to Candler
College from towns in all parts of Cuba are pleading
for a school in Havana for girls.
The Centenary askings included a sufficient
amount for the projection of this school, and
in 1919 a beautiful property was purchased
just across the street from Candler College.
166 WOMEN AND MISSIONS.
This included a city block of land and a hand
some stone residence large enough to make a
beginning. Miss M. Belle Markey was ap
pointed Principal. The Council could not get
possession until January, 1920, so the opening
of the school was deferred.
OCCUPYING A WAITING FIELD.
AT the meeting of the Woman's. Board of
Foreign Missions in 1910, after much prayer
and earnest consideration, there was a unani
mous decision to send a memorial to the Gen
eral Board requesting the opening of work
in Africa. The General Board was then in
session in Nashville, and the following me
morial was presented:
Recognizing the obligation of the women of South
ern Methodism to do their part in the evangelization
of the whole world and to reach in the shortest possi
ble time the dying forty millions apportioned to our
Church by the great Laymen's Movement, we, the
Woman's Board of Foreign Missions, memorialize the
General Board of Missions to hear the call from the
Dark Continent of Africa and, when it is possible,
open work in that needy field.
The question of work in Africa had been
before the General Board of Missions in 1906,
and now through this memorial from the
Woman's Board and other pressure brought
to bear the question was again revived at this
meeting of 1910. Because of lack of funds
1 68 W 'OMEN AND MISSIONS.
the plan met with much opposition, but it was
finally decided that a secretary should be au
thorized to visit the field and that a "spe
cial" should be raised to enterprise the mis
The following year found Bishop Lambuth,
accompanied by Professor J. W. Gilbert, a
prominent leader in the colored Methodist
Church and a graduate of Paine College, in the
heart of the Congo, seeking a place of occu
pation. A great portion of the territory which
had been allotted to the Southern Presbyterian
Church in the Belgian Congo had never been
occupied, and the Mission Board of that
Church had continued to urge that the South
ern Methodist Church should help to redeem
the heart of Africa. The consequence was
that the Presbyterian Mission gave to our am
bassadors the heartiest cooperation, and with
the help and guidance of volunteers from
among their converts our two great Christian
explorers arrived at the village of Wembo-
Niama, the chief of the Batetela tribe, Febru
ary, 1912. Here the assurance came that this
was the divinely selected spot.
At the second meeting of the Woman's Mis
sionary Council in Washington, D. C, strong
appeals for Africa were made by Miss Ben-
OCCUPYING A WAITING FIELD. 169
nett and other leaders of the Church. In the
midst of the discussion that followed, a note
from Mrs. L. H. Glide, of San Francisco,
was sent to the desk. It contained a pledge of
five thousand dollars for the work in Africa
if the women should enter. The gift was an
nounced, whereupon the whole congregation
spontaneously arose and broke forth into sing--
ing the doxology. The following resolution
was then passed:
Resolved, That the Woman's Missionary Council, in
annual session at Washington, D. C., in 1912, send a
communication to the Board of Missions in its annual
session, assuring it that if it is decided to open work in
Africa the women will cooperate.
The Board, in session the following May, ap
propriated a minimum of fifteen thousand dol
lars, which included the five thousand of the
women, should they at that time enter the field.
The first missionaries of the Board of Mis
sions, General Work, reached Wembo-Niama
in February, 1914. The Woman's Council
had as volunteers Miss Kate Hackney and
Miss Etha Mills. They were detained, how
ever, and did not sail with the first mission
aries. Miss Hackney was later sent to China
and Miss Etta Lee Woolsey and Miss Kathron
Wilson volunteered for service in Africa.
170 WOMEN AND MISSIONS.
They were accepted, but detained because of
war conditions until 1917, when they, togeth
er with Miss Mills, embarked upon their long
and perilous journey, reaching their destina
tion January 25, 1918.
Miss Mills was appointed to serve in Lube-
fu, the new outstation. She not only served
as the teacher of the village, but was com
pelled, because of lack of workers, to super
vise the medical work in the dispensary. In
her report of 1918 she says:
Of course the medical work here, of necessity, has
been confined to simple treatments, but this does not
keep the more serious cases from coming. Many who
are incurable come also. The task of extracting teeth
is not a very pleasant one, especially as some of them
are very hard to get out, being deeply rooted and firmly
set in. I have not failed to get one yet, even though
it took three separate pulls with all my strength.
Miss Woolsey and Miss Wilson remained
at Wembo-Niama, the former being in charge
of the girls' home and school. In her report
of 1919 she says:
We are glad to report that the new home built by
the Council for its workers was finished during the
quarter, and we moved in on July 25, just one year and
a half to the day after our arrival at the mission. The
house is comfortable, convenient, and pretty, even
though the framework is made of trees from the forest
OCCUPYING A WAITING FIELD. 171
tied together with vines, the walls of mud, and the roof
of grass. Our floors are hand-sawed boards, as are
also the window and door frames and the doors. Four
of our windows are glass and the others are closed
merely by shutters. The woodwork in the living and
dining rooms is painted white, and against the soft
dove gray of the mud wall, it is very pretty. Take our
handsome library table in the center, several pretty
rockers (all made by the industrial department), a few
good pictures in frames on the wall, our white-dotted
swiss curtains, several rugs, and we have a living room
into which we would be proud to invite even Miss
Bennett and Bishop Lambuth.
The little band of workers served these first
years under the handicap of a small force and
poor equipment and were obliged to work their
way slowly through the terrible ignorance, su
perstition, and degradation of the African
women. At the close of her second year Miss
We have enrolled eight little girls during the last
quarter, but we have only seven at present. One of the
mission boys brought his little sister, but her husband
objected to her being away, so that the father was com
pelled to come and get the child. Then the boy brought
his little wife in the place of his sister. She stayed two
months, when the father said he wanted her for a
slave; tj l.j "killed the marriage," as they say, in order
to be abb to take the child from the mission. I did
my best to keep her, for she was so unwilling to leave,
but the old man would not listen ; so Nkoi took off her
apron and went off wearing only the little square of
scraps that she had pieced together in her sewing les-
172 WOMEN AND MISSIONS.
sons, the beginning of the little skirt of which she was
so proud. She left crying, and called to us : "I am
coming back." Poor child ! It is dreadful to see the
way these little girls are sold in their infancy. Do
pray for us as we try to train these children.
Before she had been on the field more than
a few months Miss Wilson, the trained nurse,
was obliged to take the place of Dr. Mumpow-
er, whose furlough was overdue. When he
left, the entire mission was without a physi
cian, and Miss Wilson was compelled to give
medical aid, frequently performing some of
the most difficult major operations. Her suc
cess was nothing short of a miracle. The to
tal number of patients in her first year of
service was 4,422.
In 1920 four recruits were sent out to this
lone front line of the mission field. Miss Ruth
Henderson, Miss Flora Foreman, Miss Marzie
Hall, and Miss Eliza lies, Miss lies being a
deaconess who was transferred from the
Home Department in which she had given
eight years of devoted service.
WOMAN'S MISSIONARY SOCIETY.
On February 14, 1918, there was organized
in the African mission a Woman's Missionary
Society with an enrollment of forty-five char-
WOMEN AND MISSIONS. 173
ter members. In a short time the number
was increased to fifty-five. The standard of
dues adopted was one egg or its equivalent,
one cent, in money. Miss Woolsey said:
At the April meeting the women decided that they
would like to have a share in the work of God by sup
porting an evangelist in a village which had not yet
had one. Accordinglly, they took the responsibility for
the payment of his salary, $1.30. At first the chief of
the village refused to enter the church, so the fifteen
members of the society who are baptized Christians
met for about two months with one of the missionaries
once a week for special prayer for the chief and for
Munadi, the evangelist. The chief, we are glad to say,
began going to church.
It should be noted that the labors of the
years in Brazil, China, and Korea had begun
to bear fruit, for in 1920 the Woman's Mis
sionary Societies in those three fields were
contributing to the uplift of Africa.
MINISTRY IN THE HOME FIELD.
To Christianize the community life means to per
meate all its activities and relationships with the prin
ciples and ideals of Jesus. It means to make the whole
of life religious, so that there shall be no separation
between the spirit of worship in the community and
the spirit of its play, its work, and its government.
The task is not the endeavor of a day.
Christianity demands a fraternal community for the
satisfaction of its ideals. It requires that men who call
God Father should find the way to live as brothers.
Now we have rifts and chasms. Our task is to bring
the different groups of our community life, the divers
nations and races of the world, together in a real
brotherhood until there shall be no handicapped, ex
ploited, dispossessed people, but all shall live together
on terms of equal opportunity. Solidarity is not simply
the dream of the workers at the bottom. It is the im
perative of the gospel. — "Christianising Community
Life," by Ward-Edwards.
ANSWERING THE HOME CALL.
SUE BENNETT MEMORIAL.
IN the early days of the Woman's Parson
age and Home Mission Society Miss Sue Ben
nett, the Secretary of the Kentucky Confer
ence Society, became interested in the people
that lived shut away in the hills just within
sight of the fertile valleys in which her home
town of Richmond was located. Her inter
est had been aroused by the Rev. J. J. Dickey,
who was struggling to maintain a school in a
mountain community fifty miles from any rail
road. The great need of these people at her
very door set her soul aflame, and through the
enlistment of the children of her Conference
she planned to come to the aid of Mr. Dick
ey's school, which would have to close unless
something could be done to meet the emer
gency. However, before she had even taken
the first steps toward the realization of this
plan her labors on earth were ended. But the
women of the Kentucky Conference had
caught, through her inspiration and zeal, a
178 WOMEN AND MISSIONS.
vision of the need, and they, together with the
Central Committee, began to make plans for
the mountain work.
Mr. Dickey's school was, in the meantime,
sold to the Presbyterians, but plans were at
once projected for the establishment of a
chain of schools in other mountain sections.
Mrs. W. T. Pointer, President of the Ken
tucky Conference Society, led in the work and
was untiring in her efforts to help raise the
needed funds. She sent out letters soliciting
gifts and, together with her husband, went
from place to place helping to arouse interest
in the enterprise.
London was selected as the most strategic
point at which to begin, and the first term of
the Sue Bennett School was opened in an old
seminary building. In 1897, however, the
large administration building was completed,
and the school was opened that fall with sev
enty-five pupils and a faculty numbering five.
The first class was graduated in 1901.
Prof. J. C. Lewis, of the Liverpool Uni
versity, a man well equipped for the work, was
for twenty years president of the school.
In 1917 Prof. A. W. Mohn, of the Ohio
Wesleyan and of the University of Chicago,
and for nine years the head of the Ruth Har-
ANSWERING THE HOME CALL. 179
grove School, Key West, succeeded Professor
Lewis as principal.
From its modest beginning the London
School grew to be one of the most efficient
secondary schools in the State of Kentucky.
The report of 1919 shows an enrollment of
students as follows: model school, 125; high
school, 101 ; normal school, 74; school of
business, 75; school of music, 172. The stu
dents numbered 397 and the faculty 19.
The extent of the influence of Sue Bennett
can be measured only by the life and work of
its students. It will be found that they have
been scattered far and wide, engaging success
fully in the various vocations of life — one as
a lawyer in Porto Rico ; another as a mission
ary in China; others as superintendents and
principals of schools in New York, Georgia,
and Florida ; some as students at West Point ;
others working as engineers in Pennsylvania
and Kentucky; and still others as prominent
business men. In 1919 it was calculated that
ninety per cent of all the teachers in the county
of Laurel, the county in which the school was
located, had been students at the Sue Ben
nett School. No more fitting memorial could
be erected to the one in whose heart this work
180 WOMEN AND MISSIONS.
for mountain boys and girls was born than
this great investment in life and character.
In 1895 another mountain school was
opened in Brevard, N. C, by Mr. Fitch Tay
lor. The Woman's Parsonage and Home
Mission Society was asked to share the ex
pense of this school with the Epworth Leagues
of North Carolina by supporting one teacher.
In response to this request, Miss Armstrong
was employed to teach in what was then
known as the Brevard Epworth School. The
first term was opened with one boarding pu
pil, who, it was said, had been paid to come.
This pupil, with a few from the town, made
up the first enrollment.
In 1900 the Western North Carolina Con
ference adopted the school and appointed trus
tees. In 1903, however, it was offered as a
gift to the Woman's Board of Home Missions.
A building had been begun which was still
unfinished, and the committee of men who
met the committee from the Woman's Board
promised to be responsible for its completion
if Miss Belle Bennett would tour the State
in interest of funds. The school had been
closed for two years, and to the women this
ANSWERING THE HOME CALL. 181
call to enter into this new door of opportun
ity seemed very clear. Accordingly, the work
was undertaken, and Prof. E. E. Bishop was
employed as Principal. He says in his first
About September 11, 1903, I was employed to take
charge of the Brevard Industrial School, to begin Oc
tober 1, with everything finished and furnished. In
stead of finding the house finished and furnished, I
found a large building unpaintccl except priming, with
out windows, doors, chimneys, or floors. The plaster
ing was about half done, and the force at work on the
house consisted of only two carpenters and two plas
terers. I learned also that the treasury was entirely
empty, the building committee in debt, and no funds in
sight from any source. To make matters still worse,
there were no written contracts and no specifications.
The first thing to be done was to get money that we
might put on a large force of men at once. The com
mittee was persuaded to borrow about a thousand dol
lars. On October 20 we opened school with a public
meeting. Miss Bennett, Mrs. Branner, and Mrs. Acton
were present. The next day fifty-two pupils were en
rolled. The enrollment has steadily increased and is
now one hundred and four.
Mrs. F. H. E. Ross says concerning the
final completion of the building and its pres
Money was borrowed to put the building in shape
and a mortgage given. Then came the struggle ; for
the Board would not accept it till finished, furnished,
182 W 'OMEN AND MISSIONS.
and unencumbered. Something was secured from the
Weddington estate, and the Western North Carolina
Conference appropriated a few hundred dollars from
the school fund year after year. The columns of the
North Carolina Christian Advocate were open to our
use, a .1 funds were solicited until we lacked only $325
to lift the mortgage. A note was given for this amount
signed by some friends, one of whom was our sainted
Dr. George H. Detwiler, then pastor of West Market
Street Church, Greensboro, N. C. In June, 1905, the
annual meeting of the Conference Society was held in
the city of Charlotte. On Saturday afternoon the long-
prayed-for, hoped-for event took place — the presenta
tion of Brevard Industrial School to the Woman's
Home Mission Board. Dr. Van Atkins, chairman of
the Board of Trustees of the school, made a very pleas
ing address in presenting the school, and Mrs. Frank
Siler, in her usual happy manner, accepted the prop
erty for the Board.
Professor Bishop served until 1907 and
was then succeeded by Prof. C. H. Trow-
bridge, a graduate of Harvard University.
The growth and growing influence of Bre
vard Institute is shown in the 1914 report of
Brevard Institute seems to be holding its own in
every respect and going forward in many ways. The
academic work is decidedly better than at any previous
time, the faculty having more experience than ever be
fore and holding the students to a higher grade of
accuracy. The grammar and high school are very
much crowded. The normal department is working
along previous lines, and its graduates are still in de-
ANSWERING THE HOME CALL. 183
mand wherever the work of the department is known.
The music classes are very much as they have been,
though in the fall there were so many pupils that it
was necessary to employ an additional teacher for two
days in the week. The commercial department con
tinues its efficiency and is turning out well-equipped
men and women, who are always placed within a few
weeks after they are ready for a position. In no case
has any graduate failed to be successful. The domes
tic art department has more students than ever before
and maintains the high grade of work which it has
been doing. The purchase of additional ground gives
. the agricultural department better opportunities than
ever. There has been a considerable increase since last
year in the amount of stock and in the value of the
farm machinery. The youngest department to be or
ganized is household economics. It is getting well
under way this year and has developed a course that is
thoroughly practical and valuable. Small classes have
been organized in telegraphy, plumbing, and carpentry.
A summer school was started in 1913. Very little
advertising was done, but there were enough students
to make it evident that summer work is practicable in
this summer resort town. Two summer school camps
for boys will be in operation this summer. A number
of the girls made a respectable income for themselves
by running a boarding house during the vacation
months. This will be continued next year. The cot
tages on the place are rented in the summer, and for
several years a most delightful colony of people has
spent the summer here.
Th relations between the school and the community
continue most cordial. Some members of the Council
canvassed Brevard for two days in July and secured
subscriptions amounting to more than three dollars for
every man, woman, and child in the town.
1 84 WOMEN AND MISSIONS.
Six or seven acres of ground adjoining the campus
have been purchased during the year, making a campus
of about twenty-six acres located within the corporate
limits of the town and still set off in such a manner
as to secure a very high degree of protection. It would
be difficult to arrange the school property more con
With its enlarged boundary and the new administra
tion building, it seems that Brevard is about to enter
upon an era of increased growth. The dormitories
have been practically full all the time during the past
three years, and these developments will probably cause
a very great increase in the number of applicants for
admission. There are few schools in this section which
are devoting as much of their energies to vocational
work as Brevard Institute is doing, and it seems that
the Institute should be able always to maintain its lead
with the start it will have when school opens next fall.
The success of Brevard Institute, like that
of the Sue Bennett School, is measured by the
success of its students, who have been able
to occupy positions of trust and responsibility.
The plan for the establishment of Sue Ben
nett, though first to be conceived, was not
the first to be realized, for in 1894, three years
previous to the opening of the Sue Bennett,
a school was begun in Tampa, Fla., for Cuban
children with Miss Jennie Smither as Prin
ANSWERING THE HOME CALL. 185
Mrs. Eliza Wolff, of St. Louis. Mo., had
chanced to spend a season in Southern Flor
ida and was much moved by the suffering of
the Cuban people who were beginning to
flock to our shores as workers in the tobacco
factories. These factories were being moved
into Florida in order to avoid the interruption
caused by the conditions which eventuated in
the Spanish-American War. Mrs. Wolff ap
pealed to the Woman's Foreign Board and
as a result, it was recognized that here was an
open door which the newly organized Wom
an's Parsonage and Home Mission Society
should enter. At the second convention of this
society, which was held in Nashville, Tenn.,
October 2-5, 1894, the need for a school on
the Florida coast was presented and a propo
sition made to raise one thousand dollars by
securing one hundred ten-dollar shares. With
in fifteen minutes all the shares were taken.
A few months later the society opened its
first school, Wolff Mission, so called in hon
or of the one whose interest had launched
the enterprise. In 1897 Miss Mary Bruce,
afterwards Mrs. N. F. Alexander, a returned
missionary from Brazil, became Principal.
Through her friendly visiting, the homes of
the people were opened and the Cuban worn-
186 WOMEN AND MISSIONS.
en began to identify themselves with the Cu
ban Church. Night schools were undertaken
for the men, many of whom were eager to
learn the English language. Numbers of those
in attendance later became interested in the
In 1898 Miss Bruce was transferred to Key
West and Miss Marcia Marvin, Miss Eliza
beth Todd, Miss Josephine Baker, Miss Lula
Ford, and Miss Lotie Adams, each in turn,
served as Principal of the school.
The following from the report of 1900
shows some of the far-reaching results brought
about by the institution:
One Cuban girl returned to Cuba and now has a
Sunday school in her house at a point where there are
no other workers. A young man, a laughing, fun-
loving boy, who came to the Friday evening socials,
was brought into the Church. He returned to Cuba,
married, and held preaching service in his house, thus
forming the nucleus of a Church. And so it is, here
one and there another.
In the year 1914-15 more pupils were en
rolled in Wolff Mission than ever before, but
because of the better opportunities then being
provided by the public schools of Florida the
institution was closed in 1916 and the work of
Wolff Settlement inaugurated. A gymnasium
ANSWERING THE HOME CALL. 187
was erected, a clinic established, and a day
nursery opened. The institution was thus
made to serve the larger needs of the com
WEST TAMPA SCHOOL.
The year following the opening of Wolff
Mission (1895) a small school in West Tampa
was opened in the home of two Spanish wom
en, Mrs. Rosa and Miss Emelina Valdes, who
were converts from Key West. The zeal of
these women and their sympathetic appeal to
the people made the work a success from the
beginning. Mrs. Valdes deeded to the Wom
an's Home Mission Board a lot adjoining
her home, and upon this lot they built a two-
room schoolhouse, which served also as a
church. Mrs. Valdes, with the assistance of
her niece, Miss Emelina Valdes, continued in
charge of this school for twenty years. The
little rooms were always full, and the chil
dren of the day school crowded to the Sun
day school on the Sabbath. Many of them be
came Christians ; years later Christian fam
ilies were found on the Island of Cuba who
had received their inspiration while getting
the rudiments of an education from these god
1 88 WOMEN AND MISSIONS.
After Mrs. Valdes's death, in 1912, the
school was made into a Wesley House, where
social features and gospel teachings were car
ried on with marked success. The Council
voted that the new building, when erected,
should be called the Rosa Valdes Settlement,
thereby perpetuating the work of the founder
of the school.
RUTH HARGROVE INSTITUTE.
In 1898 Miss Mary Bruce opened in Key
West, Fla., a school which afterwards came
to be called the Ruth Hargrove Institute, in
honor of the General Secretary, Mrs. R. K.
Hargrove, who was vitally interested in the
development of the Cuban work. The enroll
ment was large from the beginning, and it
soon became necessary to broaden the scope
of the school, enlarging its capacity to meet
the need not only of the Cuban children, but
also of the English-speaking children of the
community who were being forced, for lack of
Protestant schools, to patronize Catholic in
Miss Emily Reede was the second Principal,
and during her five years' administration the
school grew to such proportions that the cam
pus was enlarged and plans were made for a
ANSWERING THE HOME CALL. i8y
new building. In 1909 Prof. A. W. Mohn
took charge, and in 1910 the enrollment
reached seven hundred.
In 1914, on their return from Brazil, Miss
Bennett and Miss Gibson visited Key West
and gave the following account of the school:
Key West has a population of 25,000, 10,000 of whom
are Negroes. The property we own is in the suburbs —
in the geographical center of the island, we are told.
There are four buildings on a lot 550x200 feet, which
will accommodate five hundred pupils (20 boarders).
It is valued at $60,000. There are eleven churches in
Key West, four of which are Methodist, having a mem
bership of eight hundred. No other mission board is
at work there. There are two Roman Catholic schools,
two public schools, and forty schools for Negroes.
Bruce Hall is a fine new school building, containing the
largest auditorium in the city, which is used sometimes
for lectures and concerts when a large hall is needed.
Ruth Hargrove building is the home for teachers and
students. Then there is the attractive Mattie Wright
Kindergarten building and the residence of the prin
cipal. The enrollment this year from September 1 to
January 1 is 525; in 1911 it was 613; in 1912 it was
609; and it is likely that the present year will see as
large a representation. The school has twelve grades,
a high-school department, a music department, a com
mercial department, and a kindergarten with thirty-
one pupils. The faculty mimbers nineteen, of whom
five are men. All teachers are Protestants. There are
thirteen Methodists, two Baptists, one Congregationalist,
one Presbyterian, and two Episcopalians. The Bible is
taught in every grade by the teachers. Professor
190 WOMEN AND MISSIONS.
Mohn feels the need of a graded course in the Bible
covering twelve years. We visited every grade and
saw the work on the board for examinations, and we
approved what we saw. The night that we left a con
cert was held in the chapel. For four years the prin
cipal has had a lyceum course, charging $5 per season
for ten entertainments. The immediate and imperative
needs are a teachers' cottage and athletic grounds. In
answer to our question, "What returns have come to
the school or Church from the pupils?" we were told
that they are better citizens, better Christians, better
men and women. They have been of immense benefit
to the Church. The cost of maintaining this school
was $9,875.80 plus fees of $4,815.57.
It will be seen that the success of Ruth
Hargrove School was marked. The demand
it created for education brought about such
improved conditions in the public schools of
Key West that by 1917 they were adequate to
meet the community's need.
Mrs. MacDonell, Executive Secretary, says
in her report of that year:
The situation has greatly changed during these years,
and we dare assert that the school has done much
toward creating a demand for better educational ad
vantages and that it has saved Key West to Prot
At that time the building was leased for a
marine hospital, and the following year was
bought by the government at a price of fifty
ANSWERING THE HOME CALL. 191
thousand dollars. Some years previous, the
faculty of Ruth Hargrove had opened an ex
tension day school in a congested Cuban dis
trict. This was continued and land purchased
in this district for the erection of a settlement
Laredo Seminary, the history of which is
told in the chapter on Mexico, was transferred
to the Home Department of the Woman's Mis
sionary Council in 1913. The name was
then changed to Holding Institute for the pur
pose of perpetuating the work of Miss Nannie
Holding, who had for so many years put her
life and energy into the development of the
The school began its first year with four
pupils, but in 1917 it enrolled three hundred
and seventy-six, and more than two hundred
were turned away for lack of room. In 1914
seventy-five pupils came from across the
border. Dr. J. M. Skinner was appointed
Principal of the school at the time of its
transfer to the Home Department and was still
in charge in 1920. Holding Institute, in ad
dition to a regular high-school curriculum, has
provided a normal course for teachers, a com-
192 WOMEN AND MISSIONS.
mercial course for the training of clerks, ste
nographers, and bookkeepers, and a course in
domestic arts, thus giving training for nearly
every walk in life upon which the students
THE VASHTI INDUSTRIAL SCHOOL.
In 1903 Deaconess Annie Heath, while
working in Thomasville, Ga., found a four
teen-year-old girl in need of protection. She
was too old for an orphanage, and the deacon
ess could find no means of removing her from
her dangerous environment. She appealed
to the women of the local auxiliary, and
through their influence Mr. Walter Blasin-
game, of that city, gave four acres of land
and a house of thirteen rooms, where Miss
Heath and Efrle, the homeless girl, were sent
to live. This was the beginning of the Vashti
Industrial School for dependent girls. The
home was named Vashti, thus honoring Mr.
Blasingame's mother. Miss Heath and Ef-
fie were not long alone, for two other girls
were discovered in the poorhouse and brought
to the home. Within two years, thirty-three
girls had found their way to the school, and
the house was now too small for their accom
modation. The expense, too, had become
ANSWERING THE HOME CALL. 193
more than the local auxiliary could meet, and,
as a consequence, the work was transferred in
1905 to the Woman's Board of Home Mis
Ten years before the opening of the Vashti
School, a cigar factory was opened in Cubana
(little Cuba), a suburb of Thomasville, but,
as it was found impossible to secure Cuban
labor, in a few years the enterprise failed.
When Vashti School outgrew its home, the
Cubana property was selected as a desirable
location. It was purchased by the citizens of
Thomasville and presented to the Woman's
Board of Home Missions in 1908. Prof. E.
E. Bishop was elected Principal in the fall of
1907, and the next January seventy-five girls
and teachers took possession of the new home.
Since that time there has been accommodation
for ninety girls at a time, and yet not more
than fifteen per cent of the applicants has been
received. The girls who have been trained
here have received an eighth grade literary
course and, in addition, practical industrial
training. With few exceptions, characters
have been formed that have stood the test of
life after leaving the school. Many have taken
the responsibility of homes of their own, while
others have gone to work in schools and fac-
194 WOMEN AND MISSIONS.
tories and hospitals. In 1919 Miss Charlotte
Dye was elected Principal.
PAINE COLLEGE ANNEX.
At a meeting of the Woman's Board of
Home Missions, held in St. Louis, Mo., in
1901, a request was presented from Dr. Walk
er, President of Paine College, Augusta, Ga.,
asking for the establishment of an industrial
department for the Negro girls attending that
Miss Belle H. Bennett, Mrs. J. D. Ham
mond, and Mrs. R. W. MacDonell were
guests of Mr. Richard Scruggs. Early on
Sunday morning the three were in prayer to
gether. Each arose from her knees persuaded
that the Board should undertake this work
and that this was the day to present it public
ly and take a collection for its beginning. Miss
Bennett at once called ten of the women over
the telephone to come to the church for an
executive session. These ten called others, so
that promptly at nine o'clock all responded
to the roll call in the pastor's study at St.
John's Church. Miss Bennett told them of
the conviction that had come to the group of
three. A resolution was promptly offered,
and after discussion a vote was taken which
ANSWERING THE HOME CALL. 195
was unanimous, with one exception. The dis
senting vote came from one of the most en
thusiastic missionary women, who held a con
viction that she was not authorized to repre
sent her Conference in this matter. There
were many who feared that the undertaking
would be unpopular, but all were willing to
follow God rather than man.
Miss Bennett was requested to present the
matter to the congregation after the sermon,
which was preached on that morning by Dr.
Shailer Matthews. At no time in her life
had she spoken more clearly or with greater
conviction. When the collection was taken
a number of men present were so moved that
they arose at once to make large contribu
tions. Dr. Palmore, with streaming eyes,
pledged $500, and Miss Mary Helm gave
$200. Miss Bennett subscribed $500, and
practically every man and woman contributed
something. Later, Mr. Richard Scruggs and
Mr. Murray Carlton gave $500 each. Thus
was launched the girls' industrial department
of Paine College, and within two years two
buildings were erected on three acres of land
adjacent to the school. Miss Ellen Young,
graduate of Hampton Institute, was secured
as matron in 1902 and for nine years rendered
196 WOMEN AND MISSIONS.
valuable service. She was assisted by three
other teachers in this department. In 1913
Bennett Hall, a large up-to-date dormitory,
was erected at a cost of $27,000, a fitting mon
ument to the faith and conviction of the one
who had lead the women to take this step in
the name of the Master. Concerning this
work, Mrs. MacDonell, former Executive
Secretary of the Home Department, writes in
There are many colored teachers, wives, and mothers,
graduates of Paine College, whose lives and homes at
test the value of the training at the Annex. This was
particularly true in the days when Ellen Young was
matron. Many former students have written me. I
have met others in my travels, all of whom have given
witness to lives made stronger and better.
VIRGINIA K. JOHNSON SCHOOL.
The appeal of one unfortunate girl, yearn
ing for a chance to lead a clean life, led to
the establishment of the home in Dallas, Tex.,
which later came to be known as the Virginia
K. Johnson School. When no place could be
found for her shelter, Mrs. Johnson was led
to the determination to open a Door of Hope.
The King's Daughters were enlisted, and
through their efforts a small building was
rented, while other Christian women helped
ANSWERING THE HOME CALL. 197
bear the expenses of the upkeep. It was
found difficult, however, to maintain their in
terest and Mrs. Johnson appealed in vain to
the charitable organizations of the city to take
over the work. Finally, she brought the mat
ter before the North Texas Conference Home
Mission Society at its annual meeting in
Gainesville in 1895. After much prayer and
consideration, the women of the Conference
decided to undertake the support and enlarge
ment of the institution. There was not an
available dollar in the treasury and a debt
rested on the local group in Dallas. There
was, however, a vision of a long neglected
need, the call of the Master, and prayer and
faith. A gift of land having been secured
from Mrs. Ann Browder Cunningham, Mrs.
Johnson and Mrs. W. C. Young set out to
raise money for the building. An agreement
was made with an architect for a a five-thou
sand-dollar building, expenses to be paid week
by week, and work to be discontinued when
money failed. The work, however, never
stopped until the building was finished, and
there was never more money in the treasury
than was needed to pay the week's bills. In
1898 the North Texas Conference turned the
property over to the Woman's Board of Home
1 98 WOMEN AND MISSIONS.
Missions free of debt. After a few years the
need of a better location, more land, and larger
buildings resulted in the erection of a beauti
ful $150,000 plant. Up to this time the school
had been known as the Ann Browder Cun
ningham Mission Home, but was now re
named in honor of Mrs. Virginia K. John
son, whose loving service had provided for
thousands of friendless girls the shelter of a
During the early years Mrs. Johnson acted
as Principal, but later she was made agent
and Mrs. M. L. Stone became Principal. She
served three years and was then succeeded by
Miss Sue Lyon and later by Mrs. O. M. Ab
bott. After four years of service Mrs. Ab
bott resigned, and Mrs. Stone was elected for
the second time. In 1920 she had already
given over ten years of efficient service to this
institution, within whose walls many hopeless
lives had been restored to self-support, inde
pendence, and true character.
A WORK OF SOCIAL EVANGELISM.
THE organized work of city missions in the
Church grew out of a real need and had its
beginnings in the auxiliaries of the Woman's
Home Mission Societies through the appoint
ment ,of visiting committees. In the first
quadrennial report of the Woman's Parson
age and Home Mission Society, the General
Secretary, Miss Lucinda B. Helm, says: "The
majority of the auxiliaries report good work
done by committees in visiting and aiding the
poor, in Bible readings, in visits to the jails
and benevolent institutions, and in developing
Sunday school work. Many conversions have
resulted in the large cities."
ORGANIZED CITY MISSIONS BEGUN.
The Central Committee soon began to real
ize that if the work of city missions was to
develop to any proportions there must be
some centralizing, directing, and conserving
force. As a result of this conviction, a con
vention was called in St. Louis, May 9, 1893,
for the purpose of considering plans of city
200 WOMEN AND MISSIONS.
evangelization. Miss Helm's report of this
convention says: "Every one felt the Spirit of
God was present. Great enthusiasm was
aroused and, like another Pentecost, its in
fluence radiated throughout the Church."
The address of Dr. Walter Lambuth on "City
Evangelization" helped greatly in arousing the
convictions of the women who attended this
This marked the beginning of a united ef
fort in the work of city missions. At the close
of the convention, representatives of the St.
Louis auxiliaries came together at the call of
Miss Helm and organized for work, employ
ing Mrs. M. R. Skinner for special service.
A few weeks later, the General Secretary was
called to Nashville, where an organization was
effected and Misses Tina and Emma Tucker
were employed as city missionaries. Some
months later, Miss Helm visited Atlanta and
organized the forces in that city. Houston,
New Orleans, and Los Angeles are also men
tioned in the reports as having begun a united
work as a result of the St. Louis convention.
CITY MISSION BOARDS AUTHORIZED.
At the beginning of the second quadrennium
(1894), Miss Helm resigned as General Secre-
A WORK OF SOCIAL EVANGELISM. 2OI
,tary and Mrs. Nathan Scarritt (afterwards
Mrs. R. K. Hargrove) was elected to the of
Another advanced step in the permanent or
ganization of city mission work was made in
this year, when the General Conference pro
vided for the formation of city mission boards,
these to be composed of two members from
each cooperating auxiliary, each auxiliary
being allowed to elect its own representatives.
The finances were to be provided for by the
different societies taking their apportionments.
Mrs. Hargrove continued to serve as Gen
eral Secretary until the year 1900. Her re
port of that year shows that city mission work
was being conducted in Nashville, in New
Orleans, in Kansas City, and in Waco. All
of these cities were employing workers, and
two of them were raising budgets of approxi
mately twelve hundred dollars each. St. Louis
had a city mission board and was carrying on
quite an extended work through volunteer
service. The types of service up to this time
had been largely that of rescue work, house-
to-house visitation, and distribution of litera
ture — for the most part, purely personal work ;
although there had begun to be some institu-
202 WOMEN AND MISSIONS.
tional features ; such as, kindergartens, sewing
schools, and mother's and children's meetings.
THF FIRST CHURCH SETTLEMENTS.
Mrs. R. W. MacDonell was elected to suc
ceed Mrs. Hargrove as General Secretary.
Her broad vision and constructive mind soon
began to give new form to the work. The
leaders of philanthropy were beginning to real
ize that of far greater value than work for
people was work ivith people, so here and
there, through the social settlement, the con
tagion of the higher life was being brought
to bear upon the hitherto detached masses of
the crowded cities and industrial centers.
So it was, that with Mrs. MacDonell's ad
ministration there began another stage in the
development of city missions; and in co
operation with the Nashville City Board the
new General Secretary opened the first Church
settlement in the South in September, 1901.
A house, which had formerly been a pool
room, was rented and made habitable. Be
low there was a large hall in which the work
was conducted, while above were clean and at
tractive living rooms for the workers. Miss
Minerva Clyce (afterwards Mrs. J. E. Me-
A WORK OF SOCIAL EVANGELISM. 203
Culloch) and Miss Martha Frost were the
Miss Clyce had been trained in the Scarritt
Bible and Training School; and her alertness
of mind, powers of initiative, and unfailing
devotion especially fitted her for leadership in
the new enterprise. This settlement was
the center of all eyes, for it was to set the
standard for all future work.
Pioneering the way as good neighbors in a
community full of poverty, ignorance, and
drunkeness meant days and nights of toil and
anxiety. It proved to be worth the cost, how
ever, for it was found, fifteen years later, that
self-respecting people were choosing to live
in this same community because of the ad
vantages of the settlement, so changed had
the community become.
In the year following the establishment of
the settlement in Nashville, three other settle
ments were opened. At Atlanta, Ga., work
was begun in the Fulton Bag and Cotton Mill
community with Miss Rosa Lowe, a trained
nurse, as Head Resident. This was for years
one of the largest settlements throughout the
connection, carrying on the most varied ac
In the fall of 1902 Miss Estelle Haskin was
204 WOMEN AND MISSIONS.
called to Dallas, Tex. There were months of
waiting on her part before a footing could be
secured in the district which seemed to have
the most crying need. Finally, because noth
ing better could be done, a small four-room
cottage was rented and she, with two conse
crated girls from the Ann Browder Mission
Home and Training School, went to live in a
neighborhood where there were twenty-five
saloors. within a radius of six blocks of the
Settlement House, and where the houses of ill-
fame were blighting the lives of young men
and women as well as little children. The
neighborhood responded so quickly to the spir
it of neighborliness that in two months' time
one hundred Sunday school pupils were packed
into a room sixteen by eighteen feet and class
es were being conducted in every room in the
house. The hallway was converted into a din
ing room, and because of its publicity some of
the community were usually present at morn
ing prayers. The experience was one of liv
ing ivith the community rather than in it, but
it proved to be another demonstration of the
power of personal contact.
About the same time Miss Mattie Wright
was asked to come to St. Louis to direct the
work known as the Sloan Mission.
A WORK OF SOCIAL EVANGELISM. 205
She wrote, "I will come at once," and added in her
characteristic way : "Look for a little old maid in a
brown suit, carrying a straw suitcase." Because of
her almost insignificant physical appearance, the women
of the City Mission Board, upon first meeting her,
doubted her ability for the task undertaken, but these
doubts were quickly dispelled. She had a most in
domitable spirit. No difficulties were too great for her
to overcome. She started the work at old Sloan Mis
sion in very small quarters and with no equipment.
When she took charge, a policeman stood at the door
to prevent the rough boys of the neighborhood from
breaking up the services by throwing brickbats into
the room. For the sake of privacy, a screen stood
inside the door, but Miss Wright moved it and told
the policeman she would take his place. She met the
boys with a smile and a pleasant word and so shamed
them by her kindly spirit that they became her best
friends and supporters.
Miss Wright gave herself the name of "general
utility deaconess," for she did everything from con
ducting Church services to playing the part of janitor
when that individual failed to appear. Kingdom House
would not be where it is to-day had it not been piloted
through days of storm and stress by this brave spirit
who, in the face of overwhelming obstacles, wrested
achievement out of seeming impossibilities. (From
leaflet by Mrs. C. M. Hawkins.)
In 1905 the old Sloan Mission house was
sold and the work moved a block away to a
larger and better building. The name was at
that time changed to Kingdom House.
206 WOMEN AND MISSIONS.
A NEW NAME AND A NEW OFFICE.
In 1902 the Woman's Board of Home Mis
sions sent a memorial to the General Confer
ence asking for the establishment of the office
of deaconess. The memorial was granted,
and the following year the first five deacon
esses — Miss Mattie Wright, Miss Amy Rice,
Miss Elizabeth Davis, Miss Annie Heath, and
Miss Arabel Weigle — were consecrated. The
establishment of the deaconess office and the
opening of settlements gave a new impetus to
the work in the cities. In 1904 Mrs. Mac-
Donell reported seven settlements, twenty-
nine salaried workers, and forty-six volunteer
The success came, however, in the face of
stanch opposition. Many of the preachers
opposed the settlement, not considering its
work to be religious. In order to overcome
opposition to the same forms of service con
ducted by the founder of Methodism in the
name of religion, the Woman's Board of
Home Missions, at its annual meeting in 1907,
decided to give the name Wesley House to
the settlements under its direction. There was
much in the name, for it overcame prejudice
and gave to the work a new popularity.
A WORK OF SOCIAL EVANGELISM. 207
CHRISTIAN AMERICANIZATION IN THE CITY
One of the great tasks accomplished through
the city mission enterprise has been that of
the Christian Americanization of the foreign-
born. In numbers of cities vast communities
of foreign-born people have been Christian
ized and Americanized.
In 1907 a site was selected in New Orleans
below Canal. Street in a district where it was
said that more nationalities were represented
than in any other city in the country. Here
a work was jointly begun by the Woman's
Board of Home Missions, the General Board
of Missions, the Board of Church Extension,
and the local City Mission Board. The insti
tution was given the name of St. Mark's Hall.
Miss Margaret Ragland was the first Head
Resident. Within three years after the estab
lishment of the work, over forty Italians were
added to the membership of Second Street
Methodist Church. This led to the organiza
tion of an Italian Church, which for seven
years worshiped in the parlors of St. Mark's.
In 1918 a small church house was erected for
the congregation. The clinic, which was for
a number of years conducted by Miss Kate
208 WOMEN AND MISSIONS.
Wilson (later a missionary to Africa) was one
of the most successful activities.
Miss Martha Nutt, a returned missionary
from Mexico succeeded Miss Ragland as Head
Resident. Miss Nutt was a great evangelistic
force in the community and helped in unify
ing the philanthropic organizations of the city.
It was also through her cooperative efforts
that commercialized vice was greatly limited
and forces set to work which tended to the
breaking up of the legalized districts.
At Birmingham, Ala., the Ensley Com
munity House was established in 1913 to serve
a large community of Italians working for
the Tennessee Coal, Iron & Railroad Com
pany. Miss Dollie Crim, as Head Resident,
was a great organizing force in the communi
ty from its beginning and during the World
War was particularly successful in rallying
her community for patriotic service.
At Forth Worth, Tex., a Wesley House was
located in a packing house district, where
there lived Greeks, Mexicans, Bohemians, and
Russians. The Head Resident, Deaconess
Eugenia Smith, with her genius for winning
people, brought into existence a regularly or
ganized Church among the Mexicans. In one
year two hundred children were enrolled in
A WORK OF SOCIAL EVANGELISM. 209
the Sunday school and twenty-five adults
joined the Church.
In 1912 a Wesley House was opened in a
Mexican district in San Antonio, Tex. Dea
coness Almeda Hewitt and Deaconess Ella
Bowden were the pioneers who made possible
this beginning. The difficulties encountered
by them were not so much those involved in
the task of winning the Mexicans as in the
overcoming of racial prejudice in the Amer
ican Churches. Within a year after the open
ing of the house it was too small to accommo
date the work. To meet this great growing
opportunity to win Mexico on this side of the
Rio Grande, a joint work was established be
tween the local City Board and the Woman's
Missionary Council. A new house was erected
in 1917- The Wesley House here became a
great factor in helping to conserve and
strengthen the neighborhood Mexican Church.
In 1904 Major Toberman, of Los Angeles,
gave to the Woman's Board of Home Mis
sions $10,000 for the building of a hospital
and $20,000, the interest on which was to be
used for nursing the "Lord's sick poor." In
1913 work was developed in a densely popu
lated Mexican district in a different section
of the city. Later, the Homer Toberman Dea-
210 WOMEN AND MISSIONS.
coness Hospital was sold with the purpose
of reinvesting the money in the Homer Tober-
man Clinic and Settlement that had been
opened in this Mexican district. The work
of building was delayed, and in 1920 the clin
ic and a night school were still being con
ducted in a small and poorly equipped build
ing. However, over two thousand patients
were being treated annually, and out of the
social ministry of the deaconesses a Mexican
Church had been organized.
Within a few years after the opening of
the work in Dallas, Tex., in 1903, the char
acter of the community had so changed that
the settlement was moved to a cotton mill dis
trict. The work, however, was continued in
connection with a small chapel which had
been taken over from the Northern Method
ists. It was later named Wesley Chapel.
For a number of years there was such a
sway of evil that little could be accomplished.
In 1915, however, Deaconess Rhoda Dragoo
On November 3, 1913, when the red-light district
was abolished, Wesley Chapel entered upon a new
period of its existence. New forms of social service
were organized to meet the needs of the changing popu
lation. The kindergarten was the first social feature
introduced, and it was a joy to be able to gather the
A WORK OF SOCIAL EVANGELISM. 211
little tots into the chapel and know that the blighting
influence of vice had been removed from their lives so
far as the law could do it. The population is almost
entirely foreign. Mexicans and Russian Jews predomi
nate. Only through the kindergarten and sewing school
are we able to touch Jewish life. Jewish fathers and
mothers are manifesting a keen interest in this work.
The night school was organized for Mexicans only.
Men and women are eager to learn English. The con
dition of the Mexican is pitiful ; but Wesley Chapel is
making the most of his extremity, and he is being given
a vision of Christian fellowship.
In 1907 a mission was enterprised at Biloxi,
Miss., in a district where five large oyster
canning factories were giving employment to
several thousand people. Concerning the
character of this community, the first mission
ary, Miss Minnie Boykin, says in her report
Besides the resident population, there is a large pop
ulation of people shipped here every year to work in
the canning factories. These come in October and re
turn in May, when the oyster season is over. They are
shipped from Baltimore and other Northern cities in
box cars like cattle and are treated not much better
when they get here. Belonging to each factory are two
or more long shedlike buildings two or three hundred
feet long cut up into small rooms, two rooms being
allowed for a family, regardless of the size. Most of
the men work on boats and the women and children
in factories. Children from five years old and up work.
When oysters and shrimps are plentiful, they are re-
212 W OMEN AND MISSIONS.
quired to begin work in the factory at three o'clock
in the morning, and in shrimp season they work late
at night and often part of Sunday. The acid in the
shrimp eats up the hands and fingers. I have seen
little children with their hands swollen stiff, the skin
all peeled off and bleeding. All day they must stand
with their hands in this eating acid, their feet on the
cold, wet floor.
The work was opened in a small cottage
and without local support. The Mississippi
Conference Society afterwards purchased a
house which they renovated to suit the needs
of the settlement. They also supplemented
the appropriation of the Council for current
IN THE MINING DISTRICTS.
The reports show that by the year 1914
missions were being conducted among foreign
people in the mine fields of Oklahoma, Texas,
Missouri, and West Virginia. Concerning the
field at Hartshorne, Okla., Deaconess Willena
This work is supported by the East Oklahoma
Woman's Missionary Conference Society and embraces
a territory about fifteen miles long and two or three
miles wide, with more than twenty nationalities among
the six thousand foreigners. In or near the seven
towns in this territory are ten or twelve coal mines,
giving employment for most of the foreigners. These
A WORK OF SOCIAL EVANGELISM. 213
people are untouched by any religious influence except
the Catholic Church, Roman and Russian, and many
of them are drifting away from these.
The mission in the lead belt of Missouri
was carried on for seven years through the ef
forts of the St. Louis Conference Society.
The interesting possibilities found there are
shown in the following from Deaconess Laura
Proctor in her 1916 report:
I arrived on June 2. A few days later, in company
with Miss Wike, a tour of the foreign villages was be
gun. Each day a new village was entered and a new
nationality visited. One day it was an Italian village,
the next a Polish, another an Austrian or a Russian.
When the itinerancy had been made and the ten villages
visited, I felt as though I had been peering into a
kaleidoscope which showed about thirteen different
nationalities in highly colored costumes. These quaint
villages, with the people in native costumes and speak
ing their native tongues, were very interesting at first.
Yet in an instant back of this could be seen the great
need of religious instruction and social service. The
harvest is truly white and the laborers few in compari
son with the great host of foreigners found here.
One year later a cyclone demolished the
Wesley House. To complete the tragedy six
weeks afterwards strange men came into the
lead belt and incited the American employees to
rioting. The foreign men were stoned and
driven from their work and their wives and
214 W 'OMEN AND MISSIONS.
children thrust from their homes. Finally, at
the point of a gun, they were loaded into cars
and shipped to St. Louis. Because of these
dreadful events, incident to World War con
ditions, it became necessary to close the work.
The work in the coal fields at Thurber,
Tex., was opened in 1908 by the Central Tex
as Conference Society. Marston Hall, the so
cial and religious center, through the ministry
of the workers appointed by the Council,
served a population of 6,500 Americans, Ital
ians, Mexicans, and Poles.
In 1914 a mission was begun in the West
Virginia coal mines by the Holston Confer
ence Society. It was soon extended into a
number of centers, serving Americans, Hun
garians, Italians, Syrians, Slavs, Poles, and
ON THE PACIFIC COAST.
Soon after coming into office, Mrs. Har
grove, the General Secretary, made a visit to
the West and became greatly aroused over the
needs of Oriental people on the Pacific Coast.
It was, therefore, largely through her influ
ence that the work was begun in 1897. Miss
Mary Helm, editor of Our Homes, visiting
the coast mission, gained such a thorough
A WORK OF SOCIAL EVANGELISM. 21 e
knowledge of conditions among the Orientals
that she was able to make a strong appeal in
their behalf. While there she rented suitable
buildings and put competent workers in
charge. The summer following two hundred
and seven Chinese and Japanese were en
rolled in the schools, and eleven had joined
In 1903 Dr. C. F. Reid (returned mission
ary from Korea) was made Superintendent
of the Pacific Coast work. In November of
that same year our first Japanese Church was
organized in Alameda, Cal., a second in San
Francisco, while a little later a third was or
ganized in Oakland. Still later, work was
opened in Dinuba, Sacramento, and Isleton.
At each of these points a native pastor was
put in charge and regular Church activities
were carried on. At Alameda regular forms
of settlement work were opened, and, at the re
quest of the Japanese themselves, the institu
tion was called Mary Helm Hall.
After the earthquake in 1906, the four mis
sion boards that were at work on the coast
agreed upon a division of territory and the
Korean work fell to the Methodist Episcopal
Church, South. The Korean Church at San
Francisco was located in a rented house on
2i6 WOMEN AND MISSIONS.
Bush Street. Rev. Ju Sam Ryang, a young
Korean, had just come to this country for the
purpose of securing a university education.
Dr. Reid induced him to postpone college work
until he had established the new Church for
Koreans. With alertness of mind, depth of
spiritual life, and a gift for organization Mr.
Ryang plunged into this undertaking. Three
years he remained as pastor, setting a standard
for our Korean missions. He also edited a
Korean magazine. After the lapse of a year's
time, the mission secured as pastor the Rev.
David Lee, a graduate of the University of
California. The Korean missions grew under
his ministry until, in 1918, regular services
were being held at the following 'appoint
ments: San Francisco, Sacramento, Manteca,
Stockton, Oakland, Marysville, Willow, Max
well, and Tracy and occasional meetings in
about six other camps in the rice fields where
there were a number of Korean laborers.
In 1910 Mr. and Mrs. William Acton suc
ceeded Dr. Reid as Superintendents of the
coast mission. Under their supervision there
was great growth and progress. The ac
tivities of Mary Helm Hall were multiplied
and seven additional centers of work estab
lished. In the new centers the converts from
A WORK OF SOCIAL EVANGELISM, 217
the older mission for the most part became
the missionaries in charge.
IN THE FRENCH TERRITORY.
In 1910 the Board of Missions appointed a
missionary to serve among the French people
who lived in the territory of the sugar planta
tions. It was found that in this region there
were eighty miles of houses so close together
that a message could be sent from one end
to the other merely by speaking from house
to house. Very little English was known and
the people lived shut away from the reach of
civilization. They were, of course, largely
Two years after the missionary began work
he asked for the assistance of a deaconess. In
response to this request, Miss Eliza lies, a
Louisianian by birth, was appointed to this
field and gave unstinted service for two years.
The pastor and deaconess, working together,
organized Churches at a number of appoint
ments. In a short time Miss Kate Walker
was added to the working force. For three
years Miss Walker conducted clubs, classes,
missionary societies, and other work at the
Houma Church. In the fall of 1917 Miss
Ella Hooper and Mrs. Laura White were ap-
218 WOMEN AND MISSIONS.
pointed to this interesting field. Their head
quarters were located at Houma because of its
accessibility to all points in the Terre Bonne
and La Fourche Parishes. They established
a home at Houma and divided the field be
tween them. An automobile was furnished
these workers by the Council, so that they were
able to make more accessible their extended
SERVING THE COTTON MILL COMMUNITIES.
Because of the large number of cotton mill
people in the South and their appalling need,
Wesley Houses were opened in many mill
communities in rapid succession. Atlanta,
Ga., was the first. Then followed Augusta,
Ga. ; Birmingham, Ala. ; Knoxville, Tenn. ;
Meridian, Miss. ; Spartanburg, S. C. ; Winston-
Salem, N. C. ; Orangeburg, S. C. ; Greenwood,
S. C. ; Macon, Ga. ; Danville, Va. ; and Griffin,
The Wesley Houses served these communi
ties through day nurseries for children of
working mothers, night schools for those who
were deprived of the privilege of the public
school, kindergartens for the little ones, and
industrial classes for boys and girls. They
also became religious and social centers for
A WORK OF SOCIAL EVANGELISM. 219
those whose lives would otherwise have been
empty and impoverished.
IN OTHER INDUSTRIAL CENTERS.
In Kansas City, Mo., St. Louis, Mo., St.
Joseph, Mo., Louisville, Ky., Memphis, Tenn.,
Mobile, Ala., Montgomery, Ala., Murfrees-
boro, Tenn., Richmond, Va., and San Fran
cisco, Cal., City Mission Boards were organ
ized and settlements established to serve in in
dustrial centers of mixed population.
THE KANSAS CITY INSTITUTIONAL CHURCH.
In 1903 Miss Mabel Ho well was added to
the force of teachers in the Scarritt Bible and
Training School as professor of sociology.
It immediately became apparent that there
must be developed a center of work where
students might secure practical training. As
a result of Miss Howell's efforts, the forces
of the mission Church and the City Mission
Board wrere brought together. The city at
large became interested in the enterprise, and
within a short time an institutional church
was erected. Much credit is due the Rev. M.
Charles Moore for the successful establish
ment of this the first Institutional Church. It
220 WOMEN AND MISSIONS.
was a triumph over active opposition on the
part of numbers of Church leaders.
The extent of the influence of this institu
tion is shown in its by-products. The work of
its deaconesses among the children of the
Juvenile Court revealed the need of a receiv
ing home where they might be kept in comfort
and safety until permanently placed in some
institution or returned to their parents. Mrs.
T. B. Spofford deeded a splendid property to
the City Board of Kansas City and thus en
abled it to extend its work in the support of a
receiving home named for its donor. The
Boys' Hotel Association grew to be an institu
tion because of the effort of these same women
to care for the small boy of the street. The
Octavia Hill Association, providing clean,
wholesome apartments at nominal prices for
working women, was also a product of the
effort of the Methodist women of Kansas
THE BETHLEHEM HOUSE.
The Woman's Missionary Council held its
first meeting in St. Louis. At this time Miss
Mary DeBardeleben presented herself as a
candidate for Negro work. A number of
years before God had spoken to this young
woman on one Christmas eve making her un-
A WORK OF SOCIAL EVANGELISM. 221
derstand that she was unworthy of appoint
ment to a foreign field unless she were will
ing to minister to the Negroes at her own
door. The surrender was made, but no en
couragement came to her that she might serve
the people to whom she was called until she
went to the Methodist Training School at
Nashville, Tenn., to prepare for work in Ja
pan. There she found those upon whom God
was laying the same burden. The result of it
all was that at an afternoon session of the
St. Louis meeting in 1911 she came before the
Council; and the members, deeply touched,
pledged her in that sacred hour that they would
"hold the ropes" while she, as their first repre
sentative, entered upon this most needy mis
sion field of the South. She was sent to Au
gusta Ga., where in 1912 she opened in an
abandoned near-beer establishment the Coun
cil's first Christian settlement for Negroes.
The institution during the first months of its
history went by the name of Galloway Hall, in
honor of Bishop Galloway, who never ceased
to speak in behalf of the Negroes. The Coun
cil decided at its meeting in 1913 that settle
ments conducted for Negroes should be called
The conviction of the members of the Meth-
222 WOMEN AND MISSIONS.
odist Training School during these years \vas
taking form and becoming tangible. Very
early in its history Mrs. Sallie Hill Sawyer,
a godly member of Capers Chapel (the largest
Colored Methodist Episcopal Church in Nash
ville, Tenn.), came to a member of the faculty
asking for help in her Church. Because of
her oft-repeated appeals and because of the
dire need of a neighboring Negro community,
definite organized work was begun by the
Training School in the year 1913 in the base
ment of a colored Presbyterian Church. For
the first year the funds were furnished and
the work was done by the teachers and stu
dents. The following year an appropriation
was made by the Woman's Missionary Coun
cil, a house was rented, and the patient pray
ing of "Mother Sawyer" (so called by the col
ored people) was rewarded. She herself
was the first resident settlement worker ever
employed for the Bethlehem House work.
She remained the House Mother of the Nash
ville Bethlehem House until the time of her
death, in 1918.
The work at this point was distinctive, in
that it furnished a training center for the So
cial Science Department of Fisk University,
one of the leading Negro universities of the
A WORK OF SOCIAL EVANGELISM. 223
South. The Bethlehem House touched the en
tire city in its influence and set an example of
racial cooperation for the South. Miss Estelle
Haskin represented the Council as the super
visor of this work and was succeeded by Miss
Rosa Breeden in 1918 who was at that time ap
COOPERATIVE HOMES FOR WORKING GIRLS.
The workers and the City Board members
soon began to discover that the low wage and
the cheap boarding house constituted the great
est menace to the life and character of the
working woman. As a consequence there was
developed a new form of service in the estab
lishment of the cooperative home for working
At Waco, Tex., a City Board was organ
ized in 1902. Soon afterwards they donated
property to the Woman's Home Mission So
ciety for a deaconess home and training school.
An effort to use the building for settlement
work was unsuccessful because the location
was not suitable. However, through the inter
est of Mrs. Rebecca Sparks and a local Meth
odist preacher the house was opened to a half
dozen country girls for board, and in 1909 the
property was returned to the local City Board,
224 WOMEN AND MISSIONS.
the house was enlarged, and the institution be
came known as the Rebecca Sparks Coopera
tive Home for Working Women.
In 1908 Miss -Mattie Wright was sent to
Houston, Tex., to open settlement work among
foreign-born people segregated near the rail
road centers. Within a few days she found a
young girl from the country who had come to
Houston to make her way in the business
world. She took this homeless young woman
to the Settlement Home, and before she real
ized it she had gathered twelve girls under its
roof. The need for an institution of this type
and the system and dispatch demonstrated by
Miss Wright appealed to the business men of
Houston. Within four years a handsome
three-story brick building, large enough to
accommodate seventy-five persons, was erected
and donated to the Houston District for Meth
odist women to use as a home for working
girls. The stories of the lives saved through
this effort proved the wisdom of Miss Wright
in her pioneer work at Houston.
Lexington, Ky., soon established a similar
home, which, under the guidance of Miss El
liott, came to be a saving center in a complex
Under the leadership of Mrs. Ross With-
A WORK OF SOCIAL EVANGELISM. 225
erspoon, at Jackson, Tenn., another home came
into existence, but soon passed from the Meth
odist Church to an interdenominational enter
At Corinth, Miss., a community small nu
merically but important from the standpoint
of the young country girl, a Cooperative Home
was established by the North Mississippi Con
ference Society under the guidance of Deacon
ess Mary Daniel. This home soon came to be
one of the recognized social centers of Cor
The City Board at Savannah, Ga., estab
lished a plant known as the Robert Mclntyre
In 1914, at San Francisco, Cal., through
the liberality of Mrs. L. H. Glide, the Mary
Elizabeth Inn was erected and deeded to the
Board of Missions for the use of the Woman's
Missionary Council. This building was made
to accommodate more than one hundred and
eight persons, and during one year more than
eight hundred women were turned away for
lack of room.
In 1907, when the tide of European immi
grants began to come to the South, Port Gal-
226 WOMEN AND MISSIONS.
veston furnished the largest and most attrac
tive entry. At that time there were no agen
cies for the help of these immigrants, save a
magnificent plant conducted by New York
Jews for Jewish immigrants only. Jointly
with the General Board of Missions the Wom
an's Board of Home Missions opened a home
for immigrants. For four years this center
served as a blessing to these people who could
speak no English and were thereby victims of
many impositions. Thousands of people were
met by the missionaries in charge and directed
to centers where work was found for them.
Each one was given a chance to know some
thing of the better things of our American
civilization. From all parts of the United
States letters of gratitude returned to the mis
sionary in charge. In 1912 the government
erected an immigrant home on Pelican Island,
so there was no longer need for our institution.
Despite the fact that the government cared
for these foreigners in a most efficient man
ner, the Woman's Missionary Council never
theless found it necessary to retain a port mis
sionary at Galveston.
In 1907 there was also established a Sea
man's Rest at Gulfport, Miss., with the Rev.
W. D. Griffin in charge. It was a rest home,
WOMEN AND MISSIONS. 227
a social center, and a place where religious
services were conducted for the men of the
sea. In 1917, when the Great War was de
clared, fewer sailors came to this country, not
enough to warrant the continuance of the in
stitution. A great work was done, however,
in the ten years that this mission was in opera
tion, and the Superintendent had assurances
from all parts of the country that the Sail
ors' Rest had filled a great need.
TRAINING CONSCRIPTS OF PRAYER FOR
SERVICE AROUND THE WORLD.
"0 tender Shepherd, climbing rugged mountains
And crossing waters deep,
How long wouldst thou be willing to go homeless
To find a straying sheep?
'I count no time,' the Shepherd gently answered,
'As thou dost count and bind
The weeks in months, the months in years ;
My counting is just until I find.
And that would be the limit of my journey —
I'd cross the waters deep
And climb the hillsides with unfailing patience
Until I find my sheep.' "
SCARRITT BIBLE AND TRAINING
THE Scarritt Bible and Training School, lo
cated at Kansas. City, Mo., has a record of
twenty-eight years of splendid and efficient
service. It has been the life expression of two
women: Miss Belle H. Bennett, out of whose
prayer-thought it became a reality, and Miss
Maria Layng Gibson, who for o'ver twenty-
five years molded and directed its life into a
RESPONDING TO A CALL.
The Woman's Board was sending to for
eign fields women who were untried and un
trained or those who had been obliged to se
cure their training in another Church. That
our Church was not meeting its obligation to
its ambassadors became to Miss Bennett a bur
den from which she could not escape. How to
meet their need was her one burning thought
by day and by night, and God was with her
in such closeness and power that the establish-
232 WOMEN AND MISSIONS.
ment of a training school was a divine call to
which she responded with the dedication of
herself to its accomplishment.
In the year 1889 the Woman's Board of
Foreign Missions met in Little Rock, Ark.,
and at the earnest solicitation of Mrs. S. C.
Trueheart, Miss Bennett attended for the pur
pose of presenting to the women her thought
of a missionary training school. She was just
recovering from a long illness, and in speak
ing of the incidents of this meeting she says:
I was too sick and too frightened to stand upon my
feet when I was called to speak. The President, Mrs.
Hayes, seeing my condition, said : "Come right here,
Miss Bennett, sit down in this chair and talk it over
with us." I did so, standing when I became excited.
I poured out the whole thought of my heart as I talked
with them about the splendid training that was~~given
to doctors and lawyers and professional men of all
kinds. "And yet," I said, "we are trying to send out
young men and young women to the great dark lands
to teach a new religion that they themselves know little
about." When I finished, a few questions were asked,
and a prayer was offered by Mrs. Nathan Scarritt, of
Kansas City, asking God to make the school a reality.
Although the difficulties involved in under
taking a task necessitating so large an expendi
ture of money seemed almost insurmountable,
yet so strong was the impression of God's
SCARRITT TRAINING SCHOOL. 233
call to this task that the following resolutions
Resolved, That the Board has heard Miss Bennett's
address with pleasure and, recognizing the great im
portance of its subject, does hereby appoint her as
agent of the Woman's Board of Foreign Missions of
the Methodist Episcopal Church, South, to fully investi
gate the matter of a training school for missionaries
and does empower her to represent its claims through
out the Church, to enlist the sympathy and aid of the
workers, and to collect funds, reporting results to the
Resolved, That she be directed also to present this
matter to other Mission Boards and to ask their in
terest and patronage with the view that their mis
sionaries may have the benefit of the advantages thus
Resolved, That Miss Bennett be furnished by this
Board with all necessary credentials to show that she
is its duly appointed agent.
Upon the unanimous passage of these reso
lutions Miss Bennett \vas so overwhelmed at
the manner in which God was answering her
own prayers that she immediately arose, say
ing: "But, ladies, I do not know how to do it,
I do not know the Church, I do not as much
as know how to begin." Even as she protest
ed, however, there came to her with over
whelming power the remembrance of her vow
to God, and as the women pledged themselves
to stand behind her with their prayers and ef-
234 WOMEN AND MISSIONS.
forts she consented to undertake the work.
The promise, "Commit thy works unto the
Lord, and thy thoughts shall be established,"
became her staying power and her strength
and the foundation on which the Scarritt Bi
ble and Training School was built.
It was decided that all subscriptions should
be secured from individuals and that the aux
iliaries should not be taxed. At that time
members of the Board pledged as follows:
Mrs. Adam Hendrix, $100; Mrs. E. C. Dow-
dell, $100; Mrs. Julianna Hayes, $100; Miss
Mary Helm, $25; Mrs. J. B. Cobb, $50; and
Mrs. C. H. Hall, $50 — making a total of $425
as the beginning of the fund.
Miss Bennett was being entertained in the
home of Dr. Thompson, and that evening his
little adopted daughter gave her a silver dollar,
saying: "Miss Bennett, I have waited on the ta
ble since you came and have earned this dollar.
I heard you talk about how Jesus went about
doing good, and I want to be like him. I am
giving you my dollar to help you build the
training school." This was seed planted that
brought forth many hundredfold as the story
of the little girl's gift was told.
On the way home from Little Rock, Miss
Bennett visited a friend in St. Louis and while
SCARR1TT TRAINING SCHOOL. 235
there was urged to call upon one of the shut-
in saints, who had been confined to her bed for
long years. In telling of this visit, she says:
"While in this upper chamber I told her the
story of Little Rock and my thought of a
training school. Putting her hand feebly
under her pillow, she took out a small paper
and drew from it a five-dollar gold piece, say
ing: 'I have been waiting for the Lord to
show me where he wanted me to put this, and
now I know.' '
This, too, was a seed corn that brought in
a bountiful harvest.
When Miss Bennett reached home there
were two letters awaiting her, one containing
a check from a gentleman in North Carolina
and another from Mrs. Trueheart, asking that
she attend with her a camp meeting which was
being conducted at Park Hill Campground by
the Rev. Sam Jones. She responded to the call
and went at once. At Mr. Jones's earnest
solicitation she presented her cause to a large
audience. After she had finished he arose and
pledged $500 for Mrs. Jones. He then said:
"Miss Bennett, you and Mrs. Trueheart sit
down here and let the people bring you their
money." They crowded forward — men, wom
en, and children — pledging from twenty-five
236 WOMEN AND MISSIONS.
cents to twenty-five dollars annually for five
years, until they had given more than $1,000.
THE GIFT OF DR. SCARRITT.
Offers began to come from various cities
bidding for the location of the school. Lou
isville, Ky., made the first formal offer: a
rented house in which to open at once and the
promise of $15,000 and ground within a year.
St. Louis offered a furnished house, rent free
for five years, with promise of enlargement
for future use. Other offers came from Mar
tha Washington College, Abingdon, Va. ; Cen
tral College, Lexington, Mo., by Dr. Pal-
more; Asheville, N. C, through Mr. and Mrs.
Ray; and the Nashville College for Young
Ladies, through Drs. Kelley and Price. These
kind offers each received due consideration,
but the proposal which seemed most worth
while came through a letter from Mrs. Isa
bella Hendrix, mother of- Bishop Hendrix, and
a member of the Woman's Board of Foreign
Missions, saying that she had had a conversa
tion with Dr. Nathan Scarritt, of Kansas City,
in which he had made an offer of both money
and land. Miss Bennett went at once to Kan
sas City. She says of this visit: "On reach
ing Kansas City I was met at the train by Dr.
SCARRITT TRAINING SCHOOL. 237
Scarritt and was a guest in his home for more
than a week. On Sabbath evening Dr. Scarritt,
Mrs. Scarritt, and myself walked over to the
beautiful hilltop overlooking the bluffs of the
Missouri River. While standing there, he
said to me: 'If you like this, I will give you
here whatever you think is necessary for the
establishment of the school.' Later he said: 'I
will give you $25,000 provided you raise a
like amount for the erection of the building.' '
THE CHALLENGE TO THE CHURCH.
The Executive Committee of the Woman's
Board of Foreign Missions accepted this gift
and it became a great impetus to the enter
prise. Miss Bennett toured the Church, pre
senting the challenge to the people to make
good the promised gift. She visited many of
Sam Jones's meetings, where thousands of dol
lars jwere subscribed. Churches were also
visited, many of the invitations coming from
the missionary women themselves. Miss Ben
nett's request was always for just a few min
utes of time at the close of the service. In
describing her experiences, she says: "Wheth
er I talked to individuals or audiences, gifts of
money and subscriptions were made. At
Greenville and Meridian, Miss., as I sat on the
238 WOMEN AND MISSIONS.
edge of the platform, men and women came
up, took off their watches and other jewelry,
and with money and subscriptions to the
amount of more than $3,000 poured them into
Mrs. M. D. Wightman was asked to assist
Miss Bennett and was appointed Associate
Agent. She worked with earnestness and zeal
in the southeastern Conferences and secured
something more than $11,000 of the funds
turned over for building and endowment. In
less than two years the full amount was se
cured for the erection of the building.
The difficulties and the triumph of the work
are set forth in an extract from an address
made by Dr. W. H. Potter at the time of the
laying of the corner stone:
The originator of the enterprise was appointed
Financial Agent to raise the funds with which to start
it. There was not a dollar in the treasury ; the mind
of the Church respecting it was not known ; a female
fiscal agent with connectional relations was a thing
unknown to the Church ; yet with a heart strong in the
Lord and in the conviction of a great duty she went
forward. Her success under such circumstances has
been so phenomenal as to convict of blindness those
who could not see that God was with her. Miss Belle
H. Bennett, of Richmond, Ky., the Financial Agent,
deserves and will receive the thanks of this and many
future generations for the inception and progress of
SCARRITT TRAINING SCHOOL. 239
this great work. No doubt she has already received
the approval of her own conscience and her Lord. Miss
Bennett has had many noble and worthy coadjutors,
too many to be named here ; but her singular strength
of purpose, her simple faith, and quiet courage gave
heart and hope to them all.
THE TRIAL OF FAITH.
At the very height of success opposition
arose, opposition so strong that it seemed for
a time that the enterprise would be wrecked.
Some of the men in official position opposed
it bitterly, and many of the women feared
lest its phenomenal success would be the un
doing of the work which was already being
carried on in the mission fields. The gift of
Dr. Scarritt had already been accepted and
the money raised to meet its requirements, but
now the question arose as to the right to es
tablish such a school under the constitution of
the Woman's Board of Foreign Missions.
The Board met in St. Louis in May, 1890, dur
ing the session of the General Conference.
Dr. Scarritt was present and was invited to
speak. He told with emotion and tenderness
the story of God's dealing with him. He said
that while alone, walking about upon his estate,
a voice seemed to speak to his soul, saying:
"Why don't you give this land to the Worn-
240 WOMEN AND MISSIONS.
an's Missionary Society for the training
school?" He had obeyed this voice and great
ly regretted the delay. At this time he re
newed the gift; and to remove the legal bar
riers a memorial was sent to the General
Conference, with the result that the constitu
tion was so amended as to authorize the es
tablishment of the school. On May 21, 1890,
the Board met behind closed doors with the
expressed intention, on the part of some, to
ignore all previous action in regard to the
school. Dr. Scarritt had gone home because
of his serious illness and Bishop Hendrix was
acting as his representative. After a heated dis
cussion, a resolution was unanimously adopt
ed accepting the gift of Dr. Scarritt. At the
same time Dr. Scarritt, Rev. W. B. Palmore,
and Miss Belle H. Bennett were appointed a
building committee with authorization to pro
ceed as rapidly as finances \vere available.
The news of the acceptance of the gift was
sent at once by telegram to Dr. Scarritt. The
Board adjourned that night, and on the fol
lowing day a message came acknowledging the
receipt of the telegram and announcing that
Dr. Scarritt had died on that morning (May
22). A special meeting was called and reso
lutions passed expressing sympathy and af-
SCARRITT TRAINING SCHOOL. 241
fection. At the same time the projected train
ing school was named in honor of its gener
Two years later, in 1892, the Woman's
Board of Foreign Missions met in Lexington,
Ky. The progress of the school had been such
that this became a time of great jubilation.
The corner stone had been laid in July of 1891
with due ceremony, and now the beautiful
building was completed, and its doors were
to be opened in September of that year.
Miss Laura Haygood had been elected Prin
cipal of the school, but had refused to be re
leased from her work in China. In the mat
ter of choosing the principal, however, as in
that of the establishment of the school, there
was an unmistakable evidence of divine guid
ance, for God's choice lay in another direction.
Miss Maria Layng Gibson was at that time
Principal of a high-grade private school for
young women in Covington, Ky., but at the
earnest solicitation of the leaders of the new
enterprise she consented to leave her own
prosperous institution and become the head of
the Training School. At this Lexington meet
ing the Board of Managers nominated her as
Principal and Miss Elizabeth Holding, of the
Chicago Training School, as Bible teacher.
WOMEN AND MISSIONS.
These nominations were approved by the
Woman's Board. Miss Emma D. Cushman
was elected Superintendent of Nurses for the
Notwithstanding the phenomenal success of
the enterprise, the Principal must have felt,
as she entered upon her new task, that the
battie had only begun. The building was
beautiful and commodious, but for the most
part it was still unfurnished. September was
not far distant, and no effort had been made
to secure a student body. In November, 1892,
after speaking of the success that had crowned
their first efforts, Miss Gibson writes: "And
yet — and yet, the one thing lacking is students.
There has been no lack of applications, but
our educational standard is high, and many
have failed to meet the requirements."
The school was dedicated on September 14,
1892. Preliminary services were held in Mel-
rose Church, addresses being delivered by
Bishop Galloway, Bishop Hendrix, Dr. George
Halley, by Miss Elizabeth Holding, Bible
teacher, and by the Principal. After the serv
ices the entire congregation proceeded to the
beautiful memorial chapel of the Training
School, where the building was delivered to
Bishop Hendrix, President of the Board of
SCARRITT TRAINING SCHOOL. 243
Managers, by Judge E. L. Scarritt, on behalf
of the Trustees.
Concerning the first opening, a member of
the school writes under the above date:
We had a beautiful day for our opening. The sun
shone warm and bright, fairly enticing people out of
doors. Melrose Church was crowded. The addresses
were delivered in the church ; and then the friends came
over to our beautiful chapel, where the dedicatory serv
ices were held. Hundreds of people viewed the build
ing after the services, and about sixty took lunch with
us. Last night we were filled with dismay, for we
really feared we should open without a single student ;
but about eight o'clock Miss Tina Tucker, from Ken
tucky, arrived. This morning, just before we started
for the church, two others came — Miss Sharp, from
Missouri, and Miss Irene Shaw, from Texas. Our
spirits rose accordingly, and when we mustered the
family and started for the church we felt that we made
quite a showing. We had often heard that "three was
a crowd," but had never had such a practical illustra
tion of it before. Our pretty guest chamber, furnished
by the ladies of Centenary Church, Kansas City, was
occupied last night by our dear Miss Bennett and her
efficient secretary, Miss Crook. These ladies, with Miss
Lucinda Helm, arrived yesterday morning. We are
without gas, owing to some misunderstanding about
laying the pipes. We have a number of lamps, but not
a sufficient number to dispel the darkness in these great
halls. Of course, Miss Bennett could not wait until
morning before viewing the building. We all followed
in the wake as she and Miss Gibson made the grand
tour ; and, although our lamp had a good Rochester
burner, yet it made little impres'sion on the darkness
244 WOMEN AND MISSIONS.
around, and our procession was rather ghostly. The
day was a full one, and we were all tired at supper ;
nevertheless, we went to prayer meeting at Melrose and
felt that it must be a good omen for us to spend the
first evening of our school life at a prayer meeting.
The enrollment in the Bible department
that year numbered five resident students and
seven from Kansas City and vicinity.
The first ten years marked a steady growth
in the life and usefulness of the school. In the
spring of 1894 the first commencement ex
ercises were held. Miss Layona Glenn, under
appointment to Brazil, was the first graduate
from the Bible department. Miss Clara Ste-
ger and Miss Ella R. Coffey, after one year of
training, were sent to China that year. At the
close of the ten years the school had repre
sentatives in the mission fields as follows:
Brazil, n; China, 13; Mexico, 8; Cuba, 10;
Korea, 3; Japan, I.
The nurse-training department, too, had
given ministry at home and abroad. The total
number of patients receiving treatment during
that period numbered 1,617, and thirty-five
nurses had been graduated.
In a report dated 1902 Miss Gibson says:
Three representatives of the nurse-training depart
ment are engaged in foreign work. Miss Helen Me-
SCARRITT TRAINING SCHOOL. 245
Intosh, who came from Scotland to enter this school
for training as a missionary nurse, after graduation
offered herself to the Presbyterian Board and was ap
pointed to India as superintendent of a hospital. An
other graduate, Miss Mary Wood, of Virginia, is in
the mission field as the wife of the Rev. J. A. G. Ship
ley, a missionary under the General Board of Missions
of the Methodist Episcopal Church, South. A notable
representative is our former superintendent of nurses,
Miss Emma D. Cushman, now in charge of a hospital
at Talas, Csesarea. While a young girl she was con
verted, and, being much interested in missions and very
desirous of becoming a nurse, she made a vow that if
God would open the way for her to secure training
she would devote her life to him as a missionary nurse.
The way opened almost immediately, and she entered
the hospital, where she graduated. When her training
was ended, however, she was not ready to fulfill her
vow. Ten years later the call of God came again ; and
she made haste to answer, resigned her position as Su
perintendent of our hospital department, and sailed
from New York on the steamer Majestic on July 26,
Early in its history the Training School ex
perienced an overwhelming sorrow in the
death of Miss Elizabeth Holding, who had al
ready proved herself a great teacher of the
Word and a friend of every student in the
school. Miss Effie Thompson was elected to
the Bible chair, but served only one year, when
Mrs. Mary Lipscomb Hargrove began a term
of service which continued for twenty years.
In 1896 Miss Bennett and Mrs. Wightman
246 WOMEN AND MISSIONS.
resigned as agents of the Training School.
Miss Bennett transferred the books from her
office at Richmond, Ky., to the training school,
and Miss Elizabeth Billingsley was elected by
the Board of Managers to take charge of these
accounts. This position she continued to hold
until 1919, at which time she retired because
of ill health.
A NEW OPPORTUNITY.
In 1902 the deaconess office was authorized
by the General Conference, and the Woman's
Board of Home Missions entered upon a new
era in its work of city missions. Large num
bers of home mission candidates were present
ing themselves to the school for training. This
necessitated the closing of the hospital depart
ment in 1905 in order to make room for the
enlarged Bible department.
In 1903 the chair of sociology was estab
lished, to which Miss Mabel Katherine Howell
was elected. This was a new departure for the
school and naturally led to the enlargement of
In 1910 Miss Henrietta Libby Gay was
elected as teacher of religious pedagogy, and
in 1916 Miss Ida Shaffer was appointed to
teach Portuguese to applicants expecting to
SCARRITT TRAINING SCHOOL. 247
work in Brazil. Later, the scope of Miss Shaf
fer's duties were enlarged by her appointment
to the chair of Church history. Thus was
completed for the students a thorough and
rounded curriculum including courses in Bible,
sociology, Church history, religious peda
gogy, and training in practical efficiency.
IN THE CRUCIBLE.
In the years which followed, the school en
joyed a season of unusual prosperity, sending
to both the home and foreign fields larger
numbers of workers than ever before. In
1915, however, it passed through a great finan
cial loss which threatened its very existence.
In 1895 Miss Bennett and Mrs. Wightman
turned into the hands of the treasurer of the
Board of Managers $52,394.58 for the endow
ment fund. The Conferences added to this
fund by collecting $20,000 for a chair named
in honor of Miss Belle H. Bennett, and eleven
lectureships at $5,000 each. There were, in
addition, nineteen endowed scholarships and
a small Student Loan Fund.*
The interest on these funds was used for the
payment of teachers' salaries and for the
maintenance of the students preparing for mis-
*See pages 253-55 for list of Lectureships and
248 WOMEN AND MISSIONS.
sionary service. The major part of this total
endowment was lost through embezzelment
on the part of a man to whom these funds
had been intrusted in all good faith. This
was a great disaster; for, while some appro
priation was being made by the Council, the
school was largely dependent upon its vested
funds. It seemed, for the time, that the insti
tution must close; but friends in Kansas City
and vicinity came to the rescue and provided
a sustentation fund, which enabled the school
to continue until the close of the scholastic
year. This was a practical token of the ap
preciation of the worth of the school to its
neighbors. At the Council of that year action
was taken which made good the loss of the
interest accruing from the endowment fund.
The news had gone abroad in some quarters
that the endowment was lost and that the
school would close. About this time, also, the
educational standards for missionaries were
raised, and, in addition to this, the Council de
cided to consider all scholarships merely as a
loan to the students using them. This com
bination of circumstances made the two years
which followed the most trying and difficult
in all the history of the school. The student
body was diminished to almost half of that
SCARR1TT TRAINING SCHOOL. 249
which it had formerly been. However, the
public learned that the Council was standing
solidly behind the school ; the Council came to
see the lack of wisdom in sending its mis
sionaries out burdened with a heavy debt and
changed its ruling concerning the use of schol
arships. With the removal of these hindrances
and the new call throughout the Church for
life service recruits, the institution soon en
tered upon a renewed and enlarged life of use
The twenty-fifth anniversary, which was
celebrated at the commencement season of
1917, was a crowning event in its history. The
occasion was marked by the presentation of a
beautiful pageant called the "Spirit of Scar-
ritt." In the prologue the Spirit of Scarritt
gave a short history of the origin and work of
the school. This was followed in Part II by
a representation of the life and work of the
institution, while Part III presented the "Spir
it" of Scarritt through the lives of its gradu
ates serving in the mission field.
The alumnae on Alumnae Day paid tribute
to the great moving spirit which had for twen
ty-five years guided and molded the school,
250 W OMEN AND MISSIONS.
making its name honored throughout the earth.
Miss Gibson had from the beginning poured
out her life in loving, sacrificial service. Her
deep personal interest in every woman who
left the school had caused her influence to reach
throughout the bounds of -the entire Church at
home and on the foreign field ; and at this time
hundreds of her thousand daughters now gird
ling the globe with their beautiful ministry
paid homage by their presence, letter, or tele
gram both to their Alma Mater and to her
whom they counted as their spiritual mother.
As an expression of appreciation she was pre
sented with a beautiful silver plate upon which
was engraved a picture of the building, and a
silver sandwich plate given by a group of
nurses, former graduates from the hospital.
Another happy surprise came to her with the
uncovering of three hundred bright silver dol
lars, a love offering of the alumnae. This
amount, \vhich was afterwards increased, she
accepted as a trust fund to be used for some
future need of the school.
THE NEW ERA.
In 1916 Miss Mabel Howell, teacher of
sociology, was elected by the Council to the
office of the Executive Secretarv of the Ori-
SCARRITT TRAINING SCHOOL. 251
ental Fields ; and the Bible teacher, Mrs. Mary
Lipscomb Hargrove, was elected to represent
the Woman's Missionary Council as their Cen
tenary Secretary. Miss Gibson, at this same
time, asked to be released from the increasing
executive burdens and offered her resignation.
This made faculty changes necessary. These
circumstances, together with the new demand
for the new age, led to steps on the part of the
Council for the enlargment of plans concerning
the school. More and more it was becoming
urgent to secure a force large enough to keep
the institution before the Church; and to this
end, Dr. Ed F. Cook, formerly Foreign Sec
retary for the Board of Missions, was elected
President, while Miss Maria Layng Gibson
was retained as Principal. Miss Sophia Gleim
succeeded Miss Howell as teacher of sociology
for one year only, when Prof. A. M. Tra-
wick, who had had a long and valuable experi
ence in this special field, was elected to the
place. Miss Mabel Roberta Carter was elect
ed to the Bible chair, and in 1919 Miss Mary
Ora Durham was appointed a member of the
faculty as director of practical methods. At
the beginning of this new era, the school al
ready numbered four hundred and thirty grad
uates, and three hundred and twelve students
252 WOMEN AXD MISSIONS.
were serving actively in every mission field
that had been entered by the Church. In the
year 1919-20 an enrollment of seventy-one stu
dents was reached. At the meeting of the
Board of Directors that year plans were pro
jected for the securing of a charter which
would give to the institution college rank,
thereby granting it the power to confer de
The new President, Dr. Ed F. Cook, says
concerning the larger program and the for
The women of the missionary societies have become
responsible for the ministry of our Methodism to the
women of seven great mission fields and for the greater
share of the Church's home mission program. We
would urge upon their attention, therefore, the place
of fundamental importance held by the Scarritt Bible
and Training School, which alone among the institu
tions of Southern Methodism provides that highly spe
cialized, postgraduate training which will enable our
missionaries at home and abroad to fill acceptably a
place in the missionary enterprise of to-morrow. In
ever-increasing numbers the young women of the
Church, under the impulse of the new call to sacri
ficial service, will respond to the demand of the Church
for workers. The school is now full to capacity. The
Council must enlarge the plant and the program in
order to meet the insistent demands already crowding
For the glorious service rendered in the past by the
Scarritt Bible and Training School we are truly grate-
SCARRITT TRAINING SCHOOL. 253
ful. A new day, however, has dawned. The new
world is bringing a new challenge to the womanhood
of America through a call to greater service. We
must face the future and prepare for even greater
things. The first requisite is an adequate supply of
missionaries well prepared for the more difficult and
exacting tasks awaiting them in an awakening and
The Scarritt Bible and Training School, enlarged,
equipped, and builded into a great training center, is
at once our hope and the answer of Southern Meth
odist womanhood to the challenge of the new day.
SCARRITT TRAINING SCHOOL LECTURESHIPS.
The Frances Bumpass, contributed by the North
Carolina and Western North Carolina Conference So
The Morgan Calloway, contributed by the North
Georgia Conference Society.
The Hannah Lithgow, contributed by the daughters
of J. S. Lithgow, Louisville, Ky.
The Kavanaugh, contributed by the Louisville Con
The Steven Noland, contributed by the Kentucky
The Bishop W. M. Wightman, contributed by the
South Carolina Conference Society.
The Stephen Olin, contributed by the South Caro
lina Conference Society.
The Maria D. Wightman, Woman's Foregin Mis
The S. C. Trueheart, Woman's Foreign Missionary
The Fannie M. Hitch, contributed by the South Geor
gia Conference Society.
254 WOMEN AND MISSIONS.
The Musselman Sisters, contributed by Miss Harriet
SCARRITT TRAINING SCHOOL SCHOLARSHIPS.
The Avis Scholarship, contributed by the St. Louis
The Melisa Baker Scholarship, contributed by the
Baltimore Conference Society.
The Mary A. Bonnell Scholarship, contributed by
the North Georgia Conference Society.
The Harriett Colquitt Boring Scholarship , con
tributed by the North Georgia Conference Society.
The Alice Culler Cobb Scholarship, contributed by
the South Georgia Conference Society.
The Helen Finlay Scholarship, contributed by the
North Mississippi Conference Society.
The Sam Jones Scholarship, contributed by the Ken
tucky Conference Society.
The Virginia K. Johnson Scholarship, contributed
by the North Texas Conference Society.
The Fannie Montague Scholarship, contributed by
the Missouri Conference Society.
The Memorial Scholarship, contributed by friends
in many Conferences.
The Weyman Potter Scholarship, contributed by the
South Georgia Conference Society.
The Ellen J. Robinson Scholarship, contributed by
the North Texas Confernce Society.
The S. Myra Smith Scholarship, contributed by the
North Mississippi Conference Society.
The Tennessee Scholarship, contributed by the Ten
nessee Conference Society.
The Texas Scholarship, contributed by the Texas
The Carrie Steele Waterhouse Scholarship, con
tributed by the Holston Conference Society.
SCARRITT TRAINING SCHOOL. 255
The Lula G. Watkins Scholarship, contributed by
the Mississippi Conference Society.
The Houston-Steger Scholarship, contributed by Mr.
and Mrs. W. J. Houston.
The Susan N. Jones Scholarship, contributed by the
Southwest Missouri Conference Society.